Molecular cancer therapeutics

Anticancer activity of a novel selective CYP17A1 inhibitor in preclinical models of castrate-resistant prostate cancer.

PMID 25351916


VT-464 is a novel, nonsteroidal, small-molecule CYP17A1 inhibitor with 17,20-lyase selectivity. This study evaluates the anticancer activity of VT-464 compared with abiraterone (ABI) in castrate-resistant prostate cancer cell lines and xenograft models that are enzalutamide (ENZ)-responsive (C4-2) or ENZ-resistant (MR49C, MR49F). In vitro, androgen receptor (AR) transactivation was assessed by probasin luciferase reporter, whereas AR and AR-regulated genes and steroidogenic pathway enzymes were assessed by Western blot and/or qRT-PCR. The MR49F xenograft model was used to compare effects of oral VT-464 treatment to vehicle and abiraterone acetate (AA). Steroid concentrations were measured using LC-MS chromatography. VT-464 demonstrated a greater decrease in AR transactivation compared with ABI in C4-2 and both ENZ-resistant cell lines. At the gene and protein level, VT-464 suppressed the AR axis to a greater extent compared with ABI. Gene transcripts StAR, CYP17A1, HSD17B3, and SRD5A1 increased following treatment with ABI and to a greater extent with VT-464. In vivo, intratumoral androgen levels were significantly lower after VT-464 or AA treatment compared with vehicle, with the greatest decrease seen with VT-464. Similarly, tumor growth inhibition and PSA decrease trends were greater with VT-464 than with AA. Finally, an AR-antagonist effect of VT-464 independent of CYP17A1 inhibition was observed using luciferase reporter assays, and a direct interaction was confirmed using an AR ligand binding domain biolayer interferometry. These preclinical results suggest greater suppression of the AR axis with VT-464 than ABI that is likely due to both superior selective suppression of androgen synthesis and AR antagonism.