Inhibition of Plk1 represses androgen signaling pathway in castration-resistant prostate cancer

Zhe Zhang, Long Chen, Hexiang Wang, Nihal Ahmad, Xiaoqi Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in males in the United States. Majority of prostate cancers are originally androgen-dependent and sensitive to androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT), however, most of them eventually relapse and progress into incurable castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Of note, the activity of androgen receptor (AR) is still required in CRPC stage. The mitotic kinase polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) is significantly elevated in PCa and its expression correlates with tumor grade. In this study, we assess the effects of Plk1 on AR signaling in both androgen-dependent and androgen-independent PCa cells. We demonstrate that the expression level of Plk1 correlated with tumorigenicity and that inhibition of Plk1 caused reduction of AR expression and AR activity. Furthermore, Plk1 inhibitor BI2536 down-regulated SREBP-dependent expression of enzymes involved in androgen biosynthesis. Of interest, Plk1 level was also reduced when AR activity was inhibited by the antagonist MDV3100. Finally, we show that BI2536 treatment significantly inhibited tumor growth in LNCaP CRPC xenografts. Overall, our data support the concept that Plk1 inhibitor such as BI2536 prevents AR signaling pathway and might have therapeutic potential for CRPC patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2142-2148
Number of pages7
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Androgen receptor signaling
  • Castration-resistant prostate cancer
  • Plk1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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