Prostaglandin receptor EP3 mediates growth inhibitory effect of aspirin through androgen receptor and contributes to castration resistance in prostate cancer cells

    1. Seiji Naito1
    1. Departments of ce:sup loc="post">1</ce:sup>Urology,
      2Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan
    1. (Correspondence should be addressed to A Yokomizo; Email: yokoa{at}


    Although numerous epidemiological studies show aspirin to reduce risk of prostate cancer, the mechanism of this effect is unclear. Here, we first confirmed that aspirin downregulated androgen receptor (AR) and prostate-specific antigen in prostate cancer cells. We also found that aspirin upregulated prostaglandin receptor subtype EP3 but not EP2 or EP4. The EP3 antagonist L798106 and EP3 knockdown increased AR expression and cell proliferation, whereas the EP3 agonist sulprostone decreased them, indicating that EP3 affects AR expression. Additionally, EP3 (PTGER3) transcript levels were significantly decreased in human prostate cancer tissues compared with those in normal human prostate tissues, suggesting that EP3 is important to prostate carcinogenesis. Decreased EP3 expression was also seen in castration-resistant subtype CxR cells compared with parental LNCaP cells. Finally, we found that aspirin and EP3 modulators affected prostate cancer cell growth. Taken together, aspirin suppressed LNCaP cell proliferation via EP3 signaling activation; EP3 downregulation contributed to prostate carcinogenesis and to progression from androgen-dependent prostate cancer to castration-resistant prostate cancer by regulating AR expression. In conclusion, cyclooxygenases and EP3 may represent attractive therapeutic molecular targets in androgen-dependent prostate cancer.

    • Revision received 11 February 2013
    • Accepted 7 March 2013
    • Made available online as an Accepted Preprint 14 March 2013
    | Table of Contents