Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Genistein cooperates with the histone deacetylase inhibitor vorinostat to induce cell death in prostate cancer cells

Cornel J Phillip1, Christopher K Giardina1, Birdal Bilir1, David J Cutler5, Yu-Heng Lai12, Omer Kucuk34 and Carlos S Moreno123*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA

2 Graduate Program in Genetics and Molecular Biology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA

3 Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA

4 Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA

5 Department of Human Genetics, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA

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BMC Cancer 2012, 12:145  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-145

Published: 11 April 2012

Abstract

Background

Among American men, prostate cancer is the most common, non-cutaneous malignancy that accounted for an estimated 241,000 new cases and 34,000 deaths in 2011. Previous studies have suggested that Wnt pathway inhibitory genes are silenced by CpG hypermethylation, and other studies have suggested that genistein can demethylate hypermethylated DNA. Genistein is a soy isoflavone with diverse effects on cellular proliferation, survival, and gene expression that suggest it could be a potential therapeutic agent for prostate cancer. We undertook the present study to investigate the effects of genistein on the epigenome of prostate cancer cells and to discover novel combination approaches of other compounds with genistein that might be of translational utility. Here, we have investigated the effects of genistein on several prostate cancer cell lines, including the ARCaP-E/ARCaP-M model of the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), to analyze effects on their epigenetic state. In addition, we investigated the effects of combined treatment of genistein with the histone deacetylase inhibitor vorinostat on survival in prostate cancer cells.

Methods

Using whole genome expression profiling and whole genome methylation profiling, we have determined the genome-wide differences in genetic and epigenetic responses to genistein in prostate cancer cells before and after undergoing the EMT. Also, cells were treated with genistein, vorinostat, and combination treatment, where cell death and cell proliferation was determined.

Results

Contrary to earlier reports, genistein did not have an effect on CpG methylation at 20 μM, but it did affect histone H3K9 acetylation and induced increased expression of histone acetyltransferase 1 (HAT1). In addition, genistein also had differential effects on survival and cooperated with the histone deacteylase inhibitor vorinostat to induce cell death and inhibit proliferation.

Conclusion

Our results suggest that there are a number of pathways that are affected with genistein and vorinostat treatment such as Wnt, TNF, G2/M DNA damage checkpoint, and androgen signaling pathways. In addition, genistein cooperates with vorinostat to induce cell death in prostate cancer cell lines with a greater effect on early stage prostate cancer.

Keywords:
Prostate cancer; Soy; Natural compounds; Epigenetics; Apoptosis