Zoledronic acid increases cytotoxicity by inducing apoptosis in hormone and docetaxel-resistant prostate cancer cell lines

VAROL U., DEGIRMENCI M., KARACA B., Atmaca H., Kisim A., Uzunoglu S., ...More

TUMOR BIOLOGY, vol.36, no.2, pp.779-786, 2015 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 36 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s13277-014-2682-6
  • Title of Journal : TUMOR BIOLOGY
  • Page Numbers: pp.779-786


Our aim was to investigate the possible synergistic/additive cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of combination of docetaxel and zoledronic acid (ZA), in PC-3 hormone-refractory prostate cancer cells (HRPC), as well as their docetaxel-resistant sublines. We established a docetaxel-resistant cell line (PC-3R) from PC-3 prostate cancer cells, by intermittent exposure to increasing concentrations of docetaxel in vitro. We then examined the effect of ZA and docetaxel on cell proliferation in both PC-3 and PC-3R prostate cancer cells. XTT cell proliferation assay was used to assess the cytotoxicity, and DNA fragmentation and caspase 3/7 enzyme activity were measured to verify apoptosis. According to our results, docetaxel and ZA were found to be synergistically cytotoxic and apoptotic in both PC-3 and docetaxel-resistant PC-3R cells, in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Combined treatment with docetaxel and ZA synergistically inhibited PC-3 cell growth in vitro through an enhanced induction of cell death, compared with either agent alone; this result was also evident on PC-3R cells. Moreover, we have also demonstrated that apoptosis was induced in prostate cancer cells exposed to these drugs by a concentration-dependent increase in DNA fragmentation and caspase 3/7 enzyme activity. We concluded that ZA, either with docetaxel or not, might still exert some cytotoxicity even in docetaxel-resistant cells. From the clinical perspective, when the clinician decided to change the treatment in the post-docetaxel setting, continuing or combination with ZA may be an effective therapeutic approach for the treatment of HRPC patients.