Mechanisms of selenium down-regulation of androgen receptor signaling in prostate cancer

Yeon Chun Jae, Nagalakshmi Nadiminty, Ok Lee Soo, Sergio A. Onate, Wei Lou, Allen C Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Prevention trials showed that selenium reduced prostate cancer incidence by 50%, establishing selenium as a promising chemopreventive agent for prostate cancer. Selenium inhibited human prostate cancer cell growth, blocked cell cycle progression at multiple transition points, and induced apoptotic cell death. Previous studies showed a novel mechanism of selenium anticancer action in which selenium markedly reduces androgen signaling and androgen receptor (AR) - mediated gene expression, including prostate-specific antigen (PSA), in human prostate cancer cells. The molecular mechanisms of selenium-mediated down-regulation of AR signaling are not clear. In this study, a systemic approach was taken to examine the modification of androgen signaling by selenium in human prostate cancer cells. In addition to reduced AR mRNA expression, selenium was found to initially increase the stability of AR mRNA within 6 hours while decreasing the stability of AR mRNA after 8 hours. Selenium increased AR protein degradation and reduced AR nuclear localization. Scatchard analysis indicated that selenium did not affect ligand binding to AR in LNCaP cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses showed that DHT increased the recruitment of AR and coactivators, such as SRC-1 and TIF-2, to the promoter of the PSA gene, and that recruitment was greatly diminished in the presence of 5 μmol/L selenium. On the other hand, selenium enhanced the recruitment of corepressors, such as SMRT, to the promoter of the PSA gene. Taken together, these results suggest that selenium disrupts AR signaling at multiple stages, including AR mRNA expression, mRNA stability, protein degradation, nuclear translocation, and recruitment of coregulators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)913-918
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular Cancer Therapeutics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology


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