Quercetin reverses docetaxel resistance in prostate cancer via androgen receptor and PI3K/Akt signaling pathways.
Int J Biol Sci. 2020 ;16(7):1121-1134. Epub 2020 Feb 10. PMID: 32174789
Docetaxel is the first-line chemotherapy agent for metastatic prostate cancer. However, the emergence of resistance diminishes its efficacy and limits the survival benefit. Quercetin is a dietary flavonoid which has been shown to have multiple anti-cancer effects. Also, quercetin has been reported to reverse chemo-resistance in many other cancers. This study was to determine whether quercetin could reverse docetaxel resistance in prostate cancer cells and xenograft models, thereby exploring the underlying mechanism. Depending on the docetaxel-resistant cells (LNCaP/R, PC-3/R) which were established from docetaxel-sensitive cells (LNCaP, PC-3), it was demonstrated that quercetin could reverse docetaxel resistance in prostate cancer on proliferation, colony formation, migration, invasion and apoptosis. Although single docetaxel application had little effect on docetaxel-resistant cells, combining docetaxel with quercetin was significantly effective. Combination therapy could maximally inhibited PI3K/Akt pathway and promoted apoptosis. As shown bystudy, xenograft tumors treated by docetaxel with quercetin had poorest growth. Then, to investigate the underlying mechanisms, the differences among parental cells, docetaxel-resistant subclones and quercetin treated resistant subclones were evaluated. It was found that docetaxel-resistant subclones had stronger activation of androgen receptor and PI3K/Akt pathway, more remarkable mesenchymal and stem-like cell phenotypes, and more P-gp expression than that of parental cells. Interestingly, quercetin could reverse these transformations. Our data revealed that quercetin had docetaxel-resistance reversal effect bothandand provided in-depth support for clinical use of quercetin in docetaxel-resistant prostate cancer.