Loss of tumor suppressors leads to acquisition of metastatic capability during prostate cancer progression leading to higher mortality. Maspin (SERPINB5) is a unique member of the serpin (serine protease inhibitor) family shown to regulate cell motility, migration and invasiveness. Loss of maspin is frequently identified in clinical prostate cancer specimens and prostate cancer cell lines, therefore novel therapeutic approaches to restore its expression are needed. We recently demonstrated that knockdown of class I HDACs increase maspin expression in prostate cancer cells [Mol Carcinog. 59(8):955-966, 2020]. Apigenin (4', 5, 7-trihydroxyflavone), a plant flavone has shown to possess anticancer properties and alters pathways that regulate tumor cell invasion and metastasis, however, the molecular basis of these effects remains unclear. We investigated whether apigenin has ability to restore maspin expression and contribute to the inhibition of metastasis. Treatment of human prostate cancer LNCaP and 22Rv1 cells, both harboring wild type p53, with 1-40 µM apigenin for 72 h resulted in a dose- and time- dependent decrease in cell invasion and migration with concurrent increase in maspin expression in the nuclear compartment. Since, p53 activates maspin promoter by binding directly to p53 consensus-binding site, we studied the effect of apigenin in potentially restoring p53-mediated maspin levels. Exposure of LNCaP and 22Rv1 cells with 5-20 μM of apigenin resulted in dose-dependent increase in maspin expression and p53 activation through acetylation at the Lys305 residue. These effects were associated with the inhibition of class I HDAC levels. Furthermore, apigenin withdrawal resulted in the loss of maspin expression and p53 acetylation in LNCaP cells. The increased apigenin-mediated p53 acetylation enhanced its binding on maspin promoter, which was associated with decrease in cell invasion and migration. Apigenin treatment also caused accumulation of acetylated histone H3 in total cellular chromatin, increasing accessibility to bind with the promoter sequences of maspin, consistent with the effects elicited by HDAC inhibitor, Tricostatin A. Similar observations of inhibition of class I HDACs and increase in p53 transcriptional activity were noted after feeding apigenin at 20- and 50- µg/day to 22Rv1 tumor xenograft implanted in athymic nude mice. Our results demonstrate that apigenin-mediated increase in maspin expression together with downregulation of class I HDACs, increases p53 activation resulting in decreased invasiveness and migration capabilities in prostate cancer.

Citation Format: Eswar Shankar, Albert Lee, Rajnee Kanwal, Sanjay Gupta. Reactivation of maspin by plant flavone apigenin through inhibition of class I HDACs and increase in p53 transcriptional activity in prostate cancer cells [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2021; 2021 Apr 10-15 and May 17-21. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2021;81(13_Suppl):Abstract nr 2594.