Genistein inhibits the stemness properties of prostate cancer cells through targeting Hedgehog-Gli1 pathway.
Cancer Lett. 2012 Apr 3. Epub 2012 Apr 3. PMID: 22484470
Department of Urology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710061, China; Oncological Research Lab, Key Laboratory of Environment and Genes Related to Diseases, Ministry of Education of People's Republic of China, Xi'an, China.
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are involved in tumorigenesis and progression of prostate cancer (PCa). Conventional anticancer therapeutics failed to eradicate CSCs, which may eventually lead to the disease relapse and metastasis. Therefore, targeting prostate CSCs may be an ideal strategy to cure PCa. Genistein is a major isoflavone constituent of soybeans and soy products, which has been shown to exhibit potent anticancer effect on many cancers. We have previously reported that genistein can inhibit PCa cell invasion by reversing epithelial to mesenchymal transition, suggesting that genistein may be effective against metastatic PCa. In addition, we have recently demonstrated that PCa tumorsphere cells (TCs) possess CSC properties. Here, we found that tumorsphere formation and colony formation of Pca cells were noticeably suppressed in the presence of genistein. Pretreatment of PCa TCs with genistein also suppressed tumorigenicity in vivo. Additionally, genistein treatment inhibited tumor growth of PCa TCs. Further studies showed that genistein treatment not only led to the down-regulation of PCa CSC markers CD44 in vitro and in vivo, but also inhibited Hedgehog-Gli1 pathway, which may contribute to the anti-CSC effect of genistein in PCa TCs. Therefore, our findings demonstrated that genistein may be a dietary phytochemical with potential to target prostate CSCs.