Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.315, No.3, 624-635, 2004
Rapid induction of apoptosis in prostate cancer cells by selenium: reversal by metabolites of arachidonate 5-lipoxygenase
Recent clinical trials have documented that selenium significantly reduces the incidence of clinical prostate cancer. However, nothing is clearly known about the underlying molecular mechanisms by which selenium exerts its anti-cancer effect. This report provides evidence that selenium at micro-rnolar concentrations induces rapid apoptotic death in human prostate cancer cells, but not in normal prostate epithelial cells. Apoptosis involves activation of caspase 3 which plays a critical role in the cell death process. Interestingly, the apoptosis-inducing effect of selenium in prostate cancer cells is substantially alleviated by the 5-lipoxygenase metabolites, 5(S)-HETE and its dehydrogenated derivative 5-oxoETE, but not by metabolites of 12-lipoxygenase (12(S)-HETE) or 15-lipoxygenase (15(S)-HETE). Apoptosis is also prevented by their precursor, arachidonic acid, an omega-6, polyunsaturated fatty acid, presumably by metabolic conversion through the 5-lipoxygenase pathway. These results indicate that selenium's anticancer effect may involve induction of apoptosis specifically in prostate cancer cells sparing normal prostate epithelial cells, and that 5-lipoxygenase may be a molecular target of selenium's anticancer action. The present report warrants that care should be taken about high intake of dietary fat containing arachidonic acid or its precursor fatty acids when selenium is used for the management of prostate cancer, and suggests that a combination of selenium and 5-lipoxygenase inhibitors may be a more effective regimen for prostate cancer control. (C) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.