Abstract: Purpose: Androgen plays an important role in the progression of prostate cancer. In the present study, novel magnetic molecularly imprinted polymers (MMIPs) with good biocompatibility were produced for the selective separation and inhibition of testosterone in prostate cancer cells.
Materials and methods: MMIPs were prepared by using magnetic nanospheres, gelatin, and testosterone as the supporting materials, functional monomer, and the template molecule, respectively. The characterization of the resultant products was investigated by transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and vibrating sample magnetometry. To test whether MMIPs can remove testosterone in biologic samples, human LNCaP (androgen-dependent) and C4-2 (androgen-independent) prostate cancer cells were selected as cell models. The translocation of androgen receptor (AR) was detected by immunofluorescence assay, and the expression of PSA mRNA was detected by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis. Cell flow cytometry analysis was performed to detect cell cycle arrest.
Results: The synthesized nanomaterials (MMIPs) possessed high crystallinity, satisfactory superparamagnetic properties, and uniform imprinted shell, and exhibited high adsorption capacity, fast kinetics, and high selectivity for testosterone. Moreover, the obtained imprinted nanomaterials could selectively enrich and detect testosterone in the LNCaP cell samples as a solid-phase extractant coupled with high-performance liquid chromatography. In addition, the MMIPs could freely enter prostate cancer cells and suppress the translocation of AR into the cell nucleus. We further found that MMIPs inhibited upregulation of AR downstream target genes in LNCaP and C4-2 cells; also, MMIPs inhibited cell growth and induced obvious cell cycle arrest in androgen-dependent LNCaP cells, but had no obvious effect on androgen-independent C4-2 cells.
Conclusion: Our results indicate that the obtained imprinted nanomaterials can specifically and effectively bind testosterone and recover it from prostate cancer cells. Moreover, the MMIPs can freely enter prostate cancer cells and block the activation of testosterone-AR pathway. Thus, the MMIPs may be a new option for antiandrogen therapy in prostate cancer.
Template and target information: testosterone
Author keywords: magnetic separation, Solid-phase extraction, testosterone, prostate cancer, androgen deprivation therapy, androgen receptor