AFP peptide (AFPep) as a potential growth factor for prostate cancer

Ziwen Zhu, Gage R. West, David C. Wang, Alexander B. Collins, Huaping Xiao, Qian Bai, Fassil B. Mesfin, Mark R. Wakefield, Yujiang Fang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the USA. A peptide derived from the active site of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), known as AFPep, has been shown to be efficacious in inhibiting breast cancer growth. The role of this derived peptide AFPep in the development of prostate cancer has yet to be studied. To investigate the role of AFPep on prostate cancer, we used the PC-3 and DU-145 cell lines. We found that through key anti-apoptosis and pro-proliferation molecules, AFPep enhances the proliferation of DU-145 prostate cancer cells. The anti-proliferative molecules p18, p21, and p27, along with the pro-apoptotic molecules Fas and Bax, were all down-regulated in DU-145 cell lines treated with AFPep. Conversely, AFPep was not found to have a proliferative effect on the PC-3 prostate cancer cell line. This finding suggests the effects of AFPep to be cell line-specific in prostate cancer. Further investigation into the effects of AFPep could lead to new areas of treating prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2
JournalMedical Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • AFPep
  • Apoptosis
  • Growth factor
  • Proliferation
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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