Androgen receptor activation results in metabolite signatures of an aggressive prostate cancer phenotype: an NMR-based metabonomics study
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- MacKinnon, N., Khan, A.P., Chinnaiyan, A.M. et al. Metabolomics (2012) 8: 1026. doi:10.1007/s11306-012-0398-4
Metabolomic studies have proven to provide a unique perspective of the cellular dysfunction developing as a result of prostate cancer (PCa) onset and progression, facilitated primarily by mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques. PCa develops as an androgen-dependent disease with the expression of the androgen receptor (AR), where patient treatment typically involves androgen ablation therapy. In response, it is theorized that PCa transforms to an androgen-hypersensitive or androgen-independent state, where treatment options are severely reduced. Under the hypothesis that AR stimulation increases the aggressivity of pre-existing PCa, NMR spectroscopy was utilized in the delineation of the metabonomic response of an androgen-dependent PCa cell line (LnCAP) as a result of AR activation. Metabolite profiles were determined after 12, 24, and 48 h of exposure to methyltrienolone (R1881), an AR agonist. Principal components analysis revealed the relative myo-inositol and phosphocholine levels were severely altered after androgen treatment. Furthermore, univariate analysis revealed multiple metabolic perturbations in response to R1881 exposure, including amino acid, choline, the phosphocholine/glycerophosphocholine ratio, and UDP-coupled sugar metabolism, which are consistent with reported measurements between normal and PCa samples. These results suggest that androgen-sensitive PCa may transform to an aggressive phenotype upon AR activation.