Research Papers:

Enhanced anti-tumor efficacy and mechanisms associated with docetaxel-piperine combination- in vitro and in vivo investigation using a taxane-resistant prostate cancer model

Chenrui Li, Zhijun Wang, Qian Wang, Rebecca Lucinda Ka Yan Ho, Ying Huang, Moses S.S. Chow, Christopher Wai Kei Lam and Zhong Zuo _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:3338-3352. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23235

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Chenrui Li1,2, Zhijun Wang3,4, Qian Wang1, Rebecca Lucinda Ka Yan Ho5, Ying Huang3, Moses S.S. Chow3, Christopher Wai Kei Lam5 and Zhong Zuo1

1School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong SAR

2Key Laboratory for Space Bioscience and Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, China

3Center for Advanced Drug Research and Evaluation, College of Pharmacy, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA, USA

4Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Marshall B. Ketchum University, Fullerton, CA, USA

5State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicines, Macau Institute for Applied Research in Medicine and Health, Macau University of Science and Technology, Taipa, Macau

Correspondence to:

Zhong Zuo, email: [email protected]

Christopher Wai Kei Lam, email: [email protected]

Keywords: herb-drug interaction; piperine; docetaxel; taxane-resistant prostate cancer

Received: August 31, 2017     Accepted: November 16, 2017     Published: December 14, 2017


Docetaxel (DTX) is widely used for metastatic castrated resistant prostate cancer, but its efficacy is often compromised by drug resistance associated with low intracellular concentrations. Piperine (PIP) could enhance the bioavailability of other drugs via the inhibition of CYPs and P-gp activities. Thus, we hypothesize a positive effect with the DTX-PIP combination on the anti-tumor efficacy and intra-tumor DTX concentrations in taxane-resistant prostate cancer. ICR-NOD/SCID mice implanted with taxane-resistant human prostate cancer cells were administrated with saline as well as PIP and DTX separately or in combination. The tumor growth was monitored together with intra-tumor concentrations of DTX. The inhibitory effects on CYPs and P-gp were further assessed in mouse liver microsome and MDCK-MDR1 cells. Compared with DTX alone, DTX-PIP combination significantly inhibited the tumor growth (114% vs. 217%, p = 0.002) with corresponding significantly higher intra-tumor DTX concentrations (5.854 ± 5.510 ng/ml vs. 1.312 ± 0.754 ng/mg, p = 0.037). The percentage of DTX metabolism was significantly decreased from 28.94 ± 1.06% to 18.14 ± 2.22% in mouse liver microsome after administration of PIP for two weeks. DTX accumulation in MDCK-MDR1 cell was significantly enhanced in the presence of PIP. Further microarray analysis revealed that PIP inhibited P-gp as well as CYP1B1 gene expression and induced a significant gene expression change relating to inflammatory response, angiogenesis, cell proliferation, or cell migration. In conclusion, DTX-PIP combination significantly induces activity against taxane-resistant prostate tumor. Such effect appeared to be attributed to the inhibitory effect of PIP on CYPs and P-gp activity as well as gene expression changes relating to tumorigenesis and cellular responses.

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