Background: Prevention and treatment of advanced prostate cancer (PCa) by a nontoxic agent can improve outcome, while maintaining quality of life. 4-methylumbelliferone (4-MU) is a dietary supplement that inhibits hyaluronic acid (HA) synthesis. We evaluated the chemopreventive and therapeutic efficacy and mechanism of action of 4-MU. Methods: TRAMP mice (7-28 per group) were gavaged with 4-MU (450mg/kg/day) in a stage-specific treatment design (8-28, 12-28, 22-28 weeks). Efficacy of 4-MU (200-450mg/kg/day) was also evaluated in the PC3-ML/Luc+ intracardiac injection and DU145 subcutaneous models. PCa cells and tissues were analyzed for HA and Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI-3K)/Akt signaling and apoptosis effectors. HA add-back and myristoylated Akt (mAkt) overexpression studies evaluated the mechanism of action of 4-MU. Data were analyzed with one-way analysis of variance and unpaired t test or Tukey's multiple comparison test. All statistical tests were two-sided. Results: While vehicle-treated transgenic adenocarcinoma of the prostate (TRAMP) mice developed prostate tumors and metastases at 28 weeks, both were abrogated in treatment groups, without serum/organ toxicity or weight loss; no tumors developed at one year, even after stopping the treatment at 28 weeks. 4-MU did not alter the transgene or neuroendocrine marker expression but downregulated HA levels. However, 4-MU decreased microvessel density and proliferative index (P <. 0001,). 4-MU completely prevented/inhibited skeletal metastasis in the PC3-ML/Luc+ model and DU145-tumor growth (85-90% inhibition, P =. 002). 4-MU also statistically significantly downregulated HA receptors, PI-3K/CD44 complex and activity, Akt signaling, and β-catenin levels/activation, but upregulated GSK-3 function, E-cadherin, and apoptosis effectors (P <. 001); HA addition or mAkt overexpression rescued these effects. Conclusion: 4-MU is an effective nontoxic, oral chemopreventive, and therapeutic agent that targets PCa development, growth, and metastasis by abrogating HA signaling.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research