Effect of an all-trans-retinoic acid conjugate with spermine on viability of human prostate cancer and endothelial cells in vitro and angiogenesis in vivo

Published on Monday, 11 August 2014


Retinoids constitute a family of organic compounds that are being used for the treatment of various diseases, ranging from acne vulgaris to acute promyelocytic leukemia. Their use however is limited due to serious adverse effects and there is a great need for analogues with better safety profile.

In the present work, the effect of N(1),N(12)-bis(all-trans-retinoyl)spermine (RASP), a conjugate of all-trans-retinoic acid (atRA) with spermine, on angiogenesis in vivo and viability of human endothelial and prostate cancer cells in vitro were studied. Both atRA and RASP dose-dependently inhibited angiogenesis in the chicken embryo chorioallantoic membrane model. RASP was more effective and could be used in a wider dose range due to lower toxicity compared with atRA.

Both retinoids decreased the number of human umbilical vein endothelial and prostate cancer LNCaP and PC3 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. RASP was more effective and potent compared with atRA, spermine, their combination, or conjugates of spermine with other acidic retinoids and/or psoralens in prostate cancer cells.

The inhibitory effect of both atRA and RASP seems to be related to an increase of the tumour repressing gene retinoic acid receptor beta mRNA, was mediated by retinoic acid receptor alpha, and was proportional to endogenous retinoic acid receptor beta expression.

These data suggest that RASP is more effective than atRA in decreasing angiogenesis and prostate cancer cell growth and identify retinoic acid receptor alpha as the receptor through which it causes retinoic acid receptor beta up-regulation and decrease of prostate cancer cell growth.



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