Daclatasvir, an Antiviral Drug, Downregulates Tribbles 2 Pseudokinase and Resensitizes Enzalutamide-Resistant Prostate Cancer Cells

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Molecular cancer therapeutics


FDA-approved enzalutamide is commonly prescribed to reduce the growth of advanced prostate cancer by blocking androgen receptor function. However, enzalutamide-resistant prostate cancer (ERPC) invariably develops and progresses to metastatic, lethal disease. Management of ERPC poses a special problem not only because available therapeutic regimens cannot effectively kill ERPC cells but also due to their propensity to invade large bones. Moreover, molecular mechanism(s) behind enzalutamide resistance is not properly understood, which is delaying development of newer agents. We found that the pseudokinase, Tribbles 2 (TRIB2), is overexpressed in ERPC cells and plays a critical role in their survival. Forced overexpression of TRIB2 enhances prostate cancer cell growth and confers resistance to physiologic doses of enzalutamide, suggesting that TRIB2 plays an important role in the development and progression of ERPC. Though TRIB2 has emerged as an excellent molecular target for ERPC, suitable inhibitors are not commercially available for effective targeting. By designing a luciferase-tagged TRIB2 fusion protein-based assay system, we screened a library of about 1,600 compounds and found that daclatasvir (DCV), an antiviral drug, effectively inhibits TRIB2-luciferase. We also found that DCV degrades TRIB2 proteins by direct binding and resensitizes ERPC cells to enzalutamide treatment. Moreover, DCV at lower, sublethal doses synergizes with enzalutamide to decrease the viability and induce apoptosis in prostate cancer cells. Because DCV is already approved by the FDA and well tolerated in humans, based on our findings, it appears that DCV is a promising new agent for development of an effective therapy for advanced, enzalutamide-resistant, lethal prostate cancer.

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Male; Humans; Cell Line, Tumor; Drug Resistance, Neoplasm; Antiviral Agents; Signal Transduction; Prostatic Neoplasms; Receptors, Androgen; Nitriles; Prostatic Neoplasms, Castration-Resistant; Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases

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