Proscillaridin A slows the prostate cancer progression through triggering the activation of endoplasmic reticulum stress

Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second commonly diagnosed malignancy in men over the world. Although androgen deprivation therapy for advanced PCa patients has significantly improved their survival, the majority of these patients eventually develop castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Proscillaridin A (Pro A), a cardiac glycoside that is clinically used to treat various heart failure diseases, has been reported to have anticancer activity in several cancers. However, whether Pro A exerts an inhibitory effect on PCa progression remains unknown. In this study, we determined possible antitumor effects of Pro A on PCa cells and demonstrated the following: firstly, Pro A selectively inhibited androgen-independent PCa (including PC3 and DU145) cell growth and induced cell apoptosis in vitro; secondly, Pro A significantly decreased cell motility and invasion of androgen-independent PCa cells; thirdly, Pro A enhanced the sensitivity of PCa cells to docetaxel; fourthly, Pro A significantly inhibited the growth of PCa xenografts in vivo and patient-derived organoids (PDO). In addition, RNA-sequencing analysis revealed that the antitumor effects of Pro A on androgen-independent PCa appeared to be achieved via driving the activation of endoplasmic reticulum stress. The antitumor effects of Pro A could be ameliorated by reactive oxygen species scavenger and ER stress inhibitors. Therefore, these data suggest that Pro A may provide a potential therapeutic option for the treatment of PCa, particularly CRPC.