Cabazitaxel inhibits prostate cancer cell growth by inhibition of androgen receptor and heat shock protein expression

  • Anja-Martina Rottach
  • Hannes Ahrend
  • Benedikt Martin
  • Reinhard Walther
  • Uwe Zimmermann
  • Martin Burchardt
  • Matthias B. StopeEmail author
Original Article



Cabazitaxel, a semi-synthetic taxane of the third generation, inhibits prostate cancer (PC) cell growth by affecting the microtubule architecture. Since cabazitaxel has also been demonstrated to inhibit androgen receptor (AR) functionality, AR and AR-associated heat shock protein (HSP) expressions in the presence of cabazitaxel were characterized.


AR and HSP expressions were assessed via Western blotting utilizing a PC-cell-line in vitro system incubated with cabazitaxel.


Incubation experiments with 0.3 nM cabazitaxel exhibited significantly reduced levels of AR and the AR-associated factors HSP90α, HSP40, and HSP70/HSP90 organising protein. Furthermore, expression of the anti-apoptotic factor HSP60 was suppressed. In contrast to other anticancer compounds, cabazitaxel did not alter the cytoprotective chemoresistance factor HSP27.


Despite the deregulation of microtubule organisation, cabazitaxel has been shown to suppress the expression of HSP. Very notably, and may be as a result of down-regulated HSP, cabazitaxel additionally inhibits the expression of the AR in AR-positive PC cells. Thus, cabazitaxel bears an additional anti-proliferative activity which is at least in part specific for PC cells.


Prostate cancer Cabazitaxel Chemoresistance Androgen receptor Heat shock proteins 



Prostate cancer


Androgen receptor


Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase


Androgen deprivation therapy


Castration-resistant prostate cancer


Prostate-specific antigen


Heat shock protein


HSP70/HSP90-organising protein


Sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis



The authors thank Anne Brandenburg and Katja Wittig for excellent technical assistance.

Author’s contribution

AMR data collection and protocol development. HA data collection. BM data collection. RW data analysis and manuscript editing. UZ manuscript editing and data analysis. MB data analysis and manuscript editing. MBS protocol development, project management, data analysis, manuscript writing, and editing.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

By way of disclosure of conflict of interest, the compound cabazitaxel was kindly provided by Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH (Frankfurt/Main, Germany). The preparation of the manuscript for the present publication was financially supported by the company Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH. Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH has no influence on the published content. The authors alone are responsible for the scientific content of this publication.

Ethical standards

The manuscript does not contain clinical studies or patient data.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of UrologyUniversity Medicine GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany
  2. 2.Department of Medical Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyUniversity Medicine GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany

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