Antiandrogens inhibit ABCB1 efflux and ATPase activity and reverse docetaxel resistance in advanced prostate cancer

Yezi Zhu, Chengfei Liu, Cameron Armstrong, Wei Lou, Amandeep Sandher, Allen C. Gao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Previous studies show that inhibition of ABCB1 expression overcomes acquired docetaxel resistance in C4-2BTaxR cells. In this study, we examined whether antiandrogens, such as bicalutamide and enzalutamide, could inhibit ABCB1 activity and overcome resistance to docetaxel. Experimental Design: ABCB1 efflux activity was determined using a rhodamine efflux assay. ABCB1 ATPase activity was determined by Pgp-Glo assay systems. The effects of the antiandrogens bicalutamide and enzalutamide on docetaxel sensitivity were determined by cell growth assays and tumor growth in vivo. Results: We found that bicalutamide and enzalutamide inhibit ABCB1 ATP-binding cassette transporter activity through blocking ABCB1 efflux activity. Bicalutamide inhibited ABCB1 efflux activity by 40%, whereas enzalutamide inhibited ABCB1 efflux activity by approximately 60%. Both bicalutamide and enzalutamide inhibit ABCB1 ATPase activity. In addition, bicalutamide and enzalutamide inhibit ABCB1 efflux activity and desensitize docetaxel- resistant and androgen receptor (AR)-negative DU145 cells. Combination of bicalutamide with docetaxel had a significant antitumor effect in both AR-positive and AR-negative docetaxel- resistant xenograft models, suggesting that bicalutamide desensitizes docetaxel-resistant cells to docetaxel treatment independent of AR status. Conclusions: We identified a novel mechanism of action for antiandrogens such as bicalutamide and enzalutamide as inhibitors of ABCB1 efflux and ATPase activity. Bicalutamide and enzalutamide desensitize docetaxel-resistant prostate cancer cells to docetaxel treatment independent of AR status. These studies may lead to the development of combinational therapies with bicalutamide/ enzalutamide and docetaxel as effective regimens to treat advanced prostate cancer independent of AR status, and possibly other types of cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4133-4142
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Cite this