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Receptor Activation Inhibits Prostate Cancer Growth

Activation of liver X receptor reduces androgen production

THURSDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- The liver X receptor (LXR), which had previously been shown to sense cholesterol metabolites, can also reduce androgen production and inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells, according to research published in the August issue of Endocrinology.

Jung Hoon Lee, and colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh investigated whether the LXR plays a role in androgen homeostasis. LXR is a nuclear receptor that can be activated by cholesterol metabolites or synthetic agonists, they note, and is known to have diverse functions ranging from cholesterol efflux to lipogenesis to inflammation inhibition.

The researchers found that in vivo activation of the receptor lowered androgenic activity, inhibited androgen-dependent prostate regeneration in castrated mice, and inhibited androgen-dependent proliferation of prostate cancer cells.

"In summary, we have revealed a novel function of LXR in androgen homeostasis, an endocrine role distinct to the previously known sterol sensor function of this receptor," Lee and colleagues conclude. "LXR may represent a novel therapeutic target for androgen deprivation, and may aid in the treatment and prevention of hormone-dependent prostate cancer."

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