The BIRC6 gene as a novel target for therapy of prostate cancer: dual targeting of inhibitors of apoptosis
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Sze Ue Iris Luk1,2, Hui Xue1,2, Hongwei Cheng1,2, Dong Lin1,2, Peter W. Gout2, Ladan Fazli1, Colin C. Collins1, Martin E. Gleave1and Yuzhuo Wang1,2
1 The Vancouver Prostate Centre, Vancouver General Hospital and Department of Urologic Sciences, the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2 Department of Experimental Therapeutics, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Yuzhuo Wang, email:
Keywords: BIRC6; IAP, cIAP1, survivin, ASO, CRPC
Received: June 05, 2014 Accepted: July 16, 2014 Published: July 17, 2014
Treatment resistance, the major challenge in the management of advanced prostate cancer, is in part based on resistance to apoptosis. The Inhibitor of Apoptosis (IAP) protein family is thought to play key roles in survival and drug resistance of cancer via inhibition of apoptosis. Of the IAP family members, cIAP1, cIAP2, XIAP and survivin are known to be up-regulated in prostate cancer. BIRC6, a much less studied IAP member, was recently shown to be elevated in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). In the present study, we showed a correlation between elevated BIRC6 expression in clinical prostate cancer specimens and poor patient prognostic factors, as well as co-upregulation of certain IAP members. In view of this, we designed antisense oligonucleotides that simultaneously target BIRC6 and another co-upregulated IAP member (dASOs). Two dASOs, targeting BIRC6+cIAP1 and BIRC6+survivin, showed substantial inhibition of CRPC cell proliferation, exceeding that obtained with single BIRC6 targeting. The growth inhibition was associated with increased apoptosis, cell cycle arrest and suppression of NFkB activation. Moreover, treatment with either dASO led to significantly lower viable tumor volume in vivo, without major host toxicity. This study shows that BIRC6-based dual IAP-targeting ASOs represent potential novel therapeutic agents against advanced prostate cancer.
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