Human prostate cancer cells and xenografts are targeted and destroyed through luteinizing hormone releasing hormone receptors

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BACKGROUND. A conjugate of a lytic peptide, hecate, and a 15-amino acid segment of the β-chain of chorionic gonadotropin (CG) destroyed human prostate xenografts in nude mice by targeting LH receptors. Since these xenografts also express LHRH receptors, we prepared a LHRH-hecate conjugate and tested its ability to destroy PC-3 cells in vitro and in vivo. MATERIALS AND METHODS. LHRH-hecate was added to cultures of PC-3, BRF 41 T, DU145, and LNCaP cells in the presence and absence of steroids. PC-3 xenografts were established in nude male mice, which were treated with LHRH-hecate. RESULTS. Injections of LHRH-hecate resulted in tumor growth arrest and marked reduction of tumor burden (62.2 mg/g body weight in saline controls vs. 10.5 mg/g body weight in treated mice; P < 0.0001); unconjugated LHRH and hecate had no effect on tumor burden and tumor viability (48.5 mg/g body weight in LHRH treated animals vs. 63.2 mg/g body weight in hecate treated mice). Marked tumor necrosis occurred in conjugate treated mice. Removal of steroids from the culture media decreased the sensitivity of LNCaP and PC-3 cells to the LHRH-hecate; adding estrogen restored the sensitivity. CONCLUSIONS. LHRH-hecate may be effective in treating hormone dependent and independent prostate cancers. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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