Cancer Volume 106, Issue 12, Pages 2547 - 2555

Cancer Volume 106, Issue 12, Pages 2547 - 2555

Gum mastic inhibits the expression and function of the androgen receptor in prostate cancer cells

Mei-Lan He, M.D. 1, Hui-Qing Yuan, Ph.D. 2, An-Li Jiang, M.D. 2, Ai Yu Gong, M.Sc. 3, Wei-Wen Chen, M.D. 2, Peng-Ju Zhang, M.D. 2, Charles Y. F. Young, Ph.D. 3 *, Jian-Ye Zhang, Ph.D. 2 * 

1Institute of Cancer Research, Life Science School, Tongji University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China

2Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Medical College, Shandong University, Jinan, People's Republic of China

3Department of Urology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic/Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota



Accumulating evidence suggests that the androgen receptor (AR) may play an important role in the development and progression of prostate cancer. To find new, useful compounds that effectively may attenuate the function of AR in prostate cancer cells, the authors investigated the effect of gum mastic, a natural resin, on AR activity. An androgen-responsive prostate cancer cell line LNCaP was used as a model for this study. Gene transfer, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis, electrophoretic mobility shift assay, and Western blot analysis were used to test the effect of gum mastic on the expression and function of the AR. To demonstrate the inhibitory effect of gum mastic on the function of the AR, the expression of androgen- regulated genes, including prostate-specific antigen (PSA), human kallikrein 2 (hK2), and NKX3.1 were measured. In addition, transient transfection assays with the PSA promoter and the AR promoter also were used to test the effects of mastic. The results showed that gum mastic inhibited the expression of the AR at the transcriptional level, resulting in the down-regulation of both AR messenger RNA and protein levels. Therefore, the function of the AR was inhibited, as reflected by the reduced expression of NKX3.1 and PSA and by androgen-stimulated growth. Because gum mastic exhibited a strong in vitro potency to attenuate the expression and function of the AR, further investigation will be required to determine whether this naturally occurring substance has in vivo potency to inhibit prostate cancer development. 


Cancer 2006. © 2006 American Cancer Society. 



gum mastic, androgen receptor, androgen-regulated gene, prostate cancer cell line