Genistein Combined Polysaccharide (GCP) can inhibit intracrine androgen synthesis in prostate cancer cells

Neelu Batra, Anhao Sam, Tibebe Woldemariam, George Talbott, Ralph W. de Vere White, Paramita M. Ghosh, Nilesh W. Gaikwad, Simeon O. Kotchoni, Ruth L. Vinall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Our group and others have previously shown that genistein combined polysaccharide (GCP), an aglycone isoflavone-rich extract with high bioavailability and low toxicity, can inhibit prostate cancer (CaP) cell growth and survival as well as androgen receptor (AR) activity. We now elucidate the mechanism by which this may occur using LNCaP and PC-346C CaP cell lines; GCP can inhibit intracrine androgen synthesis in CaP cells. UPLC-MS/MS and qPCR analyses demonstrated that GCP can mediate a ~3-fold decrease in testosterone levels (p < 0.001) and cause decreased expression of intracrine androgen synthesis pathway enzymes (~2.5-fold decrease of 3βHSD (p < 0.001), 17βHSD (p < 0.001), CYP17A (p < 0.01), SRB1 (p < 0.0001), and StAR (p < 0.01), respectively. Reverse-phase HPLC fractionation and bioassay identified three active GCP fractions. Subsequent NMR and LC-MS analysis of the fraction with the highest level of activity, fraction 40, identified genistein as the primary active component of GCP responsible for its anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic, and anti-AR activity. GCP, fraction 40, and genistein all mediated at least a ~2-fold change in these biological activities relative to vehicle control (p < 0.001). Genistein caused similar decreases in the expression of 17μHSD and CYP17A (2.5-fold (p < 0.001) and 1.5-fold decrease (p < 0.01), respectively) compared to GCP, however it did not cause altered expression of the other intracrine androgen synthesis pathway enzymes; 3βHSD, SRB1, and StAR. Our combined data indicate that GCP and/or genistein may have clinical utility and that further pre-clinical studies are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number282
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


  • CYP17
  • Genistein
  • Genistein combined polysaccharide
  • Intracrine androgen synthesis
  • Prostate cancer


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