The antioxidant effects of genistein are associated with AMP-activated protein kinase activation and PTEN induction in prostate cancer cells.
ABSTRACT Epidemiological evidence suggests a lower incidence of prostate cancer in Asian countries, where soy products are more frequently consumed than in Western countries, indicating that isoflavones from soy have chemopreventive activities in prostate cells. Here, we tested the effects of the soy isoflavone genistein on antioxidant enzymes in DU145 prostate cancer cells. Genistein significantly decreased reactive oxygen species levels and induced the expression of the antioxidant enzymes manganese (Mn) superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase, which were associated with AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted from chromosome 10 (PTEN) pathways. The induced expression of catalase, MnSOD, and PTEN were attenuated by pretreatment with a pharmacological inhibitor for AMPK, indicating the effects of genistein primarily depend on AMPK. Furthermore, PTEN is essential for genistein activity, as shown by PTEN transfection in PTEN-deficient PC3 cells. Thus, genistein induces antioxidant enzymes through AMPK activation and increased PTEN expression.