Treatment of prostate cancer (PCa) has changed considerably in the last decade due to the introduction of novel androgen receptor (AR)-targeted agents (ARTAs) for patients progressing on androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). Preclinical research however still relies heavily on AR-negative cell line models. In order to investigate potential differences in castration-resistant PCa (CRPC) growth, we set out to create a comprehensive panel of ARTA-progressive models from 4 androgen-responsive AR wild-type PCa cell lines and analyzed its androgen response as opposed to its ADT-progressive counterparts. Parallel cultures of VCaP, DuCaP, PC346C, and LAPC4 were established in their respective culture media with steroid-stripped fetal calf serum (FCS) [dextran-coated charcoal-stripped FCS (DCC)] without androgen (ADT) or in DCC plus 1 μM of the ARTAs bicalutamide, OH-flutamide, or RD162 (an enzalutamide/apalutamide analog). Cell growth was monitored and compared to those of parental cell lines. Short-term androgen response was measured using cell proliferation 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. qRT-PCR was performed to assess the mRNA expression of markers for AR signaling, steroidogenesis, glucocorticoid receptor (GR) signaling, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and WNT signaling. Out of 35 parallel cultures per cell line, a total of 24, 15, 34, and 16 CRPC sublines emerged for VCaP, DuCaP, PC346C, and LAPC4, respectively. The addition of bicalutamide or OH-flutamide significantly increased CRPC growth compared to ADT or RD162. VCaP, DuCaP, and PC346C CRPC clones retained an AR-responsive phenotype. The expression of AR and subsequent androgen response were completely lost in all LAPC4 CRPC lines. Markers for EMT and WNT signaling were found to be elevated in the resilient PC346C model and CRPC derivatives of VCaP, DuCaP, and LAPC4. Although the resistant phenotype is pluriform between models, it seems consistent within models, regardless of type of ARTA. These data suggest that the progression to and the phenotype of the CRPC state might already be determined early in carcinogenesis.
Reference: Moll JM, Teubel WJ, Erkens SE, Jozefzoon-Agai A, Dits NF, van Rijswijk A, Jenster GW, van Weerden WM. Cell Line Characteristics Predict Subsequent Resistance to Androgen Receptor-Targeted Agents (ARTA) in Preclinical Models of Prostate Cancer. Front Oncol. 2022 Jun 13;12:877613. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2022.877613. PMID: 35769712; PMCID: PMC9234122.