Inhibition of notch pathway enhances the anti-tumor effect of docetaxel in prostate cancer stem-like cells

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Abstract

Background: Prostate cancer stem-like cells (PCSCs) likely participate in tumor progression and recurrence and demonstrate resistance to chemotherapy. The Notch pathway plays a role in the maintenance of the stemness in PCSCs. This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of Notch signaling inhibition as an adjuvant to docetaxel (DOX) in PCSCs. Methods: PCSCs derived from the PC-3 cell line were examined for Notch-1 expression. The effect of Notch inhibition on response to DOX was evaluated in PCSCs in vitro and in murine models using a γ-secretase inhibitor (GSI), PF-03084014. Impacts on cell proliferation, apoptosis, cell cycle, and sphere formation were evaluated. Results: PC-3 PCSCs expressed elevated Notch-1 mRNA compared with PC-3 parental cells. The combination of GSI with DOX promoted DOX-induced cell growth inhibition, apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, and sphere formation in PCSCs. In nude mice bearing PC-3 PCSC-derived tumors, the combination of GSI and DOX reduced the tumor growth, which was associated with the decreased Notch-1 expression in tumor tissues. Conclusions: These results reveal that inhibition of the Notch pathway enhances the anti-tumor effect of DOX in PC-3 PCSCs, and suggest that Notch inhibition may have clinical benefits in targeting PCSCs.

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Wang, L., Zi, H., Luo, Y., Liu, T., Zheng, H., Xie, C., … Huang, X. (2020). Inhibition of notch pathway enhances the anti-tumor effect of docetaxel in prostate cancer stem-like cells. Stem Cell Research and Therapy, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13287-020-01773-w

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