Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.540, 83-89, 2021
Mesoporous silica nanoparticles combined with AKR1C3 siRNA inhibited the growth of castration-resistant prostate cancer by suppressing androgen synthesis in vitro and in vivo
Intracrine androgen synthesis plays a critical role in the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Aldo-keto reductase family 1 member C3 (AKR1C3) is a vital enzyme in the intracrine androgen synthesis pathway. In this study, mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) were employed to deliver small interfering RNA targeting AKR1C3 (siAKR1C3) to downregulate AKR1C3 expression in CPRC cells. The optimal weight ratio of MSNs/siAKR1C3 was determined by a gel retardation assay. Prostate cancer cells such as VCaP cells, which intracrinally express AKR1C3, and LNCaP-AKR1C3 cells stably transfected with AKR1C3 were used to investigate the antitumour effect of MSNs-siAKR1C3. Fluorescence detection and Western blot analyses were applied to confirm the entrance of MSNs-siAKR1C3 into the cells. A SRB (Sulforhodamine B) assay was employed to assess the cell viability, and a radioimmunoassay was used to measure the androgen concentration. Moreover, real-time PCR (RT-PCR), Western blot analysis and ELISA were used to determine the transcription and expression of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), AKR1C3 and androgen receptor (AR). Meanwhile, a reporter gene assay was performed to determine the AR activity. Additionally, a castrated nude mouse xenograft tumour model was produced to verify the inhibitory effect of MSNs-siAKR1C3 in vivo. The results showed that the optimal weight ratio of MSNs/siAKR1C3 was 140:1, and the complex could effectively enter cells, downregulate AKR1C3 expression, reduce the androgen concentration, inhibit AR activation, and inhibit CRPC development both in vitro and in vivo. These results indicate that decreasing intracrine androgen synthesis and inactivating AR signals by MSNs-siAKR1C3 may be a potential effective method for CRPC treatment. (C) 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.