Sodium phenylbutyrate antagonizes prostate cancer through the induction of apoptosis and attenuation of cell viability and migration


Prostate cancer (PCa) is a leading cause of cancer-related death in men. Sodium phenylbutyrate (SPB) has shown its potential as an anticancer therapy in numerous cancer types. In the present study, we attempted to assess the effect of SPB against PCa and whether this treatment was associated with the regulation of survivin.


Two human PCa cancer cell lines, DU145 and PC3, were used in the present study. Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8) assay was conducted to measure the proliferation of PCa cells incubated with SPB. The effect of SPB on the cell apoptosis, cell colony formation ability, and cell morphological change was also assessed. Transwell experiment and Western blotting assay were performed to determine the effect of SPB on the migration and invasion ability of both cell types. Moreover, the expression pattern of survivin and MAPK members in both cell types after the treatment of SPB was also detected. Additionally, an in vivo tumor formation assay was performed to evaluate the treatment potential of SPB against PCa.


We found that the viability of PCa cells was significantly inhibited by SPB treatment. As illustrated by flow cytometry, for DU145 cell line the average apoptotic rate of SPB-treated cells was significantly lower than that of the control group (P<0.05); similar results were also seen for PC3 (P<0.05). SPB administration also attenuated the colony formation and migration abilities in both cell lines. The expression level of survivin in SPB-treated cells was significantly downregulated, while the phosphorylation of p-38 and ERK was enhanced. Furthermore, in vivo tumor formation of both cell lines was suppressed by SPB as well.


The above results confirmed the potential of SPB as an effective therapeutic agent for the prevention or treatment of PCa. This amelioration might be due to the blockade of the survivin pathway.

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S4125 Sodium Phenylbutyrate Sodium phenylbutyrate (4-PBA, 4-Phenylbutyric acid, NaPB) is a salt of 4-phenylbutyrate (4-PBA) or 4-phenylbutyric acid.Sodium phenylbutyrate is a histone deacetylase inhibitor, used to treat urea cycle disorders.

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