2019 Volume 13 Issue 2 Pages 160-167
Plant sterols (phytosterols) have been widely accepted as a natural anti-cancer agent in multiple malignant tumors. This study was designed to investigate the functions of daucosterol in prostate cancer progression and its possible molecular mechanisms. Our results showed that daucosterol inhibited cell proliferation and induced cell cycle arrest. Moreover, daucosterol treatment obviously promoted apoptosis and autophagy. An autophagy inhibitor, 3-methyladenine (3-MA) was proved to counteract daucosterol-triggered autophagy, growth inhibition, and apoptosis, indicating that daucosterol-induced apoptotic response was dependent on autophagy. Additionally, treatment with daucosterol resulted in increased phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Furthermore, pre-treatment with a JNK-specific inhibitor SP600125 abated daucosterol-elicited autophagy and apoptotic cell death. Taken together, our findings demonstrated that daucosterol blocked prostate cancer growth at least partly through inducing autophagic-dependent apoptosis via activating JNK signaling, providing a promising candidate for the development of antitumor drugs in prostate cancer treatment.