Differential regulation of androgen receptor by PIM-1 kinases via phosphorylation-dependent recruitment of distinct ubiquitin E3 ligases.
ABSTRACT: Androgen receptor (AR) plays a pivotal role in prostate cancer. Regulation of AR transcriptional activity by post-translational modifications, such as phosphorylation by multiple kinases, is well documented. Here, we report that two PIM-1 kinase isoforms which are up-regulated during prostate cancer progression, namely PIM-1S and PIM-1L, modulate AR stability and transcriptional activity through differentially phosphorylating AR at serine 213 (Ser-213) and threonine 850 (Thr-850). Although both kinases are capable of interacting with and phosphorylating AR at Ser-213, only PIM-1L could phosphorylate Thr-850. We also showed that PIM-1S induced Ser-213 phosphorylation destabilizes AR by recruiting the ubiquitin E3 ligase Mdm2 and promotes AR degradation in a cell cycle-dependent manner, while PIM-1L-induced Thr-850 phosphorylation stabilizes AR by recruiting the ubiquitin E3 ligase RNF6 and promotes AR-mediated transcription under low-androgen conditions. Furthermore, both PIM-1 isoforms could promote prostate cancer cell growth under low-androgen conditions. Our data suggest that these kinases regulate AR stability and transcriptional activity through recruitment of different functional partners in a phosphorylation-dependent manner. As AR turnover has been previously shown to be critical for cell cycle progression in prostate cancer cells, PIM-1 kinase isoforms may promote prostate cancer cell growth, at least in part, through modulating AR activity via distinct mechanisms.
Project description:Accumulated evidence suggests stromal-epithelial interactions are critical to the progression of prostate cancer. In this study, we characterized AR phosphorylation in LNCaP cells co-cultured with the conditioned medium (CM) from human prostate stromal fibroblasts.CM harvested from prostate stromal fibroblasts was added to LNCaP cells, and both anchorage-dependent and -independent growth was determined. Status of AR phosphorylation at Ser-81 and Ser-213 was assessed by immunoblot analysis. ERK kinase activity was measured using MBP-2 protein as the substrate.The growth of LNCaP cells on plastic dishes increased by 1.7-fold upon exposure to stromal CM or androgen, and their combination resulted in additive growth (2.4-fold). Anchorage-independent growth of LNCaP cells in soft agar, however, was induced synergistically at 80-fold by both stromal CM and androgen. Stromal CM or androgen alone induced LNCaP cell growth by 10- and 26-fold, respectively. We observed ERK kinase inhibitor, U0126, but not phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI-3K), LY294002, or protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor, H-89, inhibited stromal CM or androgen-induced PSA promoter luciferase activities, and anchorage-independent growth of LNCaP cells. Our results demonstrated for the first time how stromal CM acts in synergy with androgen by activation of ERK kinase and AR phosphorylation at Ser-81 but not Ser-213, for AR-regulated PSA promoter and anchorage-independent growth of human prostate cancer cells.A stromal factor-activated ERK pathway mediated by AR phosphorylation at Ser-81 could be responsible for stimulating the growth of human prostate cancer cells.
Project description:Integration of cellular signaling pathways with androgen receptor (AR) signaling can be achieved through phosphorylation of AR by cellular kinases. However, the kinases responsible for phosphorylating the AR at numerous sites and the functional consequences of AR phosphorylation are only partially understood. Bioinformatic analysis revealed AR serine 213 (S213) as a putative substrate for PIM1, a kinase overexpressed in prostate cancer. Therefore, phosphorylation of AR serine 213 by PIM1 was examined using a phosphorylation site-specific antibody. Wild-type PIM1, but not catalytically inactive PIM1, specifically phosphorylated AR but not an AR serine-to-alanine mutant (S213A). In vitro kinase assays confirmed that PIM1 can phosphorylate AR S213 in a ligand-independent manner and cell type-specific phosphorylation was observed in prostate cancer cell lines. Upon PIM1 overexpression, AR phosphorylation was observed in the absence of hormone and was further increased in the presence of hormone in LNCaP, LNCaP-abl and VCaP cells. Moreover, phosphorylation of AR was reduced in the presence of PIM kinase inhibitors. An examination of AR-mediated transcription showed that reporter gene activity was reduced in the presence of PIM1 and wild-type AR, but not S213A mutant AR. Androgen-mediated transcription of endogenous PSA, Nkx3.1 and IGFBP5 was also decreased in the presence of PIM1, whereas IL6, cyclin A1 and caveolin 2 were increased. Immunohistochemical analysis of prostate cancer tissue microarrays showed significant P-AR S213 expression that was associated with hormone refractory prostate cancers, likely identifying cells with catalytically active PIM1. In addition, prostate cancers expressing a high level of P-AR S213 were twice as likely to be from biochemically recurrent cancers. Thus, AR phosphorylation by PIM1 at S213 impacts gene transcription and is highly prevalent in aggressive prostate cancer.
Project description:Androgen receptor (AR) and PI3K/AKT/mTORC1 are major survival signals that drive prostate cancer to a lethal disease. Reciprocal activation of these oncogenic pathways from negative cross talks contributes to low/limited success of pathway-selective inhibitors in curbing prostate cancer progression. We report that the antibiotic salinomycin, a cancer stem cell blocker, is a dual-acting AR and mTORC1 inhibitor, inhibiting PTEN-deficient castration-sensitive and castration-resistant prostate cancer in culture and xenograft tumors. AR expression, its transcriptional activity, and androgen biosynthesis regulating enzymes CYP17A1, HSD3?1 were reduced by sub-micro molar salinomycin. Estrogen receptor-? expression was unchanged. Loss of phosphorylated AR at serine-81, which is an index for nuclear AR activity, preceded total AR reduction. Rapamycin enhanced the AR protein level without altering phosphoAR-Ser81 and CYP17A1. Inactivation of mTORC1, evident from reduced phosphorylation of mTOR and downstream effectors, as well as AMPK activation led to robust autophagy induction. Apoptosis increased modestly, albeit significantly, by sub-micro molar salinomycin. Enhanced stimulatory TSC2 phosphorylation at Ser-1387 by AMPK, and reduced inhibitory TSC2 phosphorylation at Ser-939/Thr-1462 catalyzed by AKT augmented TSC2/TSC1 activity, which led to mTORC1 inhibition. AMPK-mediated raptor phosphorylation further reduced mTOR's kinase function and mTORC1 activity. Our novel finding on dual inhibition of AR and mTORC1 suggests that salinomycin is potentially active as monotherapy against advanced prostate cancer.
Project description:The androgen receptor (AR) is often activated in prostate cancer patients undergoing androgen-ablative therapy because of the activation of cellular pathways that stimulate the AR despite low androgen levels. In many of these tumors, the cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) pathway is activated. Previous studies have shown that PKA can synergize with low levels of androgen to enhance androgen signaling and consequent cell proliferation, leading to castration-resistant prostate cancer. However, the mechanism by which PKA causes AR stimulation in the presence of low/no androgen is not established yet. Here, using immunofluorescence immunoblotting assays, co-immunoprecipitation, siRNA-mediated gene silencing, and reporter gene assays, we demonstrate that PKA activation is necessary for the phosphorylation of heat shock protein (HSP90) that binds to unliganded AR in the cytoplasm, restricting its entry into the nucleus. We also found that PKA-mediated phosphorylation of the Thr<sup>89</sup> residue in HSP90 releases AR from HSP90, enabling AR binding to HSP27 and its migration into the nucleus. Substitution of the Thr<sup>89</sup> in HSP90 prevented its phosphorylation by PKA and significantly reduced AR transactivation and cellular proliferation. We further observed that the transcription of AR target genes, such as prostate-specific antigen (PSA), is also lowered in the HSP90 Thr<sup>89</sup> variant. These results suggest that using a small-molecule inhibitor against the HSP90 Thr<sup>89</sup> residue in conjunction with existing androgen-ablative therapy may be more effective than androgen-ablative therapy alone in the treatment of prostate cancer patients.
Project description:The androgen receptor (AR) is required for prostate cancer development and contributes to tumor progression after remission in response to androgen deprivation therapy. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) increases AR transcriptional activity at low levels of androgen in the CWR-R1 prostate cancer cell line derived from the castration-recurrent CWR22 prostate cancer xenograft. Here we report that knockdown of AR decreases EGF stimulation of prostate cancer cell growth and demonstrate a mechanistic link between EGF and AR signaling. The EGF-induced increase in AR transcriptional activity is dependent on phosphorylation at mitogen-activated protein kinase consensus site Ser-515 in the AR NH(2)-terminal region and at protein kinase C consensus site Ser-578 in the AR DNA binding domain. Phosphorylation at these sites alters the nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling of AR and AR interaction with the Ku-70/80 regulatory subunits of DNA-dependent protein kinase. Abolishing AR Ser-578 phosphorylation by introducing an S578A mutation eliminates the AR transcriptional response to EGF and increases both AR binding of Ku-70/80 and nuclear retention of AR in association with hyperphosphorylation of AR Ser-515. The results support a model in which AR transcriptional activity increases castration-recurrent prostate cancer cell growth in response to EGF by site-specific serine phosphorylation that regulates nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling through interactions with the Ku-70/80 regulatory complex.
Project description:Both androgen and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling are critical for cell proliferation of androgen receptor (AR)-positive prostate cancer cells, but the underlying mechanisms are still not fully understood. Here we report that serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase 3 (SGK3), a Ser/Thr kinase functioning downstream of PI3K, is an AR transcriptional target and promotes prostate cancer cell proliferation. SGK3 expression is up-regulated by androgen DHT via AR. We identified an AR-binding region at the sgk3 locus, which confers androgen responsiveness of sgk3 promoters. Interestingly, we found that androgen/AR-dependent SGK3 expression requires estrogen receptor (ER) (including both isoforms, ER? and ER?). Depletion of ER blocked DHT-induced SGK3 expression. Functionally, knockdown of SGK3 expression significantly decreased LNCaP prostate cancer cell proliferation by inhibiting G1 to S phase cell cycle progression. We further provided evidence that SGK3 promotes p70 S6 kinase (p70S6K) activation and increases cyclin D1 levels. In summary, our study identifies SGK3 as an AR target and provides a novel androgen-induced cell proliferation mechanism mediated by the AR-SGK3-p70S6K-cyclin D1 pathway in prostate cancer cells.
Project description:The SPOP E3 ubiquitin ligase gene is frequently mutated in human prostate cancers. Here, we demonstrate that SPOP recognizes a Ser/Thr-rich degron in the hinge domain of androgen receptor (AR) and induces degradation of full-length AR and inhibition of AR-mediated gene transcription and prostate cancer cell growth. AR splicing variants, most of which lack the hinge domain, escape SPOP-mediated degradation. Prostate-cancer-associated mutants of SPOP cannot bind to and promote AR destruction. Furthermore, androgens antagonize SPOP-mediated degradation of AR, whereas antiandrogens promote this process. This study identifies AR as a bona fide substrate of SPOP and elucidates a role of SPOP mutations in prostate cancer, thus implying the importance of this pathway in resistance to antiandrogen therapy of prostate cancer.
Project description:Continued reliance on androgen receptor (AR) signaling is a hallmark of prostate cancer, including the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), making it an attractive therapeutic target for prostate cancer treatment. Mahanine is a novel carbazole alkaloid derived from the leaves of Murraya koenigii, commonly known as the curry leaf plant, which grows widely across East-Asia. We show here that mahanine possesses the ability to inhibit ligand-dependent and -independent AR transactivation, leading to a prominent decline in AR target gene expression. Mahanine treatment causes a time- and dose-dependent decline in AR protein levels, including truncated AR splice variants, in a panel of androgen-responsive and -independent prostate cancer cells. The decrease in AR levels induced by mahanine occurs posttranslationally by proteasomal degradation, without any change in the AR gene expression. Mahanine treatment induces an outward movement of the AR from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, leading to an initial increase in cytoplasmic AR levels, followed by a gradual decline in the AR levels in both cellular compartments. Ligand-induced AR phosphorylation at Ser-81, a phospho-site associated with prostate cancer cell growth and AR transactivity, is greatly diminished in the presence of mahanine. The decline in AR phosphorylation at Ser-81 by mahanine occurs via the inactivation of mitotic kinase CDK1. Collectively, our data demonstrate that mahanine strongly disrupts AR signaling and inhibits the growth of androgen-dependent and -independent prostate cancer cells, thereby implicating a therapeutic role of mahanine in prostate cancer treatment.
Project description:Targeting the activation function-1 (AF-1) domain located in the N-terminus of the androgen receptor (AR) is an attractive therapeutic alternative to the current approaches to inhibit AR action in prostate cancer (PCa). Here we show that the AR AF-1 is bound by the cochaperone Bag-1L. Mutations in the AR interaction domain or loss of Bag-1L abrogate AR signaling and reduce PCa growth. Clinically, Bag-1L protein levels increase with progression to castration-resistant PCa (CRPC) and high levels of Bag-1L in primary PCa associate with a reduced clinical benefit from abiraterone when these tumors progress. Intriguingly, residues in Bag-1L important for its interaction with the AR AF-1 are within a potentially druggable pocket, implicating Bag-1L as a potential therapeutic target in PCa.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Circulating tumor cells (CTC), androgen receptor full-length (AR-FL), and androgen receptor splice variant 7 (AR-V7) are prognostic in patients (pts) with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). AR-V7 seems to predict resistance to androgen-receptor signaling inhibitors (ARSi).<h4>Methods</h4>We assessed the association of CTC, AR-FL, and AR-V7 with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) response and overall survival (OS). We used a modified AdnaTest CTC-based AR-FL and AR-V7 mRNA assay. Chi-square test, Fisher Exact test, Kaplan-Meier method, log-rank test, Cox proportional hazards models were used as appropriate.<h4>Results</h4>We enrolled 39 mCRPC pts, of those 24 started a first-line treatment for mCRPC (1L subgroup) and 15 had received at least two lines for mCRPC (>2L subgroup). CTC, AR-FL, and AR-V7 were enriched in >2L compared to 1L subgroup. Detection of these biomarkers was associated with a lower percentage of biochemical responses. Only 1/7 AR-V7+ pts had a PSA response and received cabazitaxel. Median OS was 4.7 months (95% CI 0.6-8.9) in AR-V7+ pts and not reached in AR-V7- pts. AR-V7 was the only variable with prognostic significance in the Cox model.<h4>Conclusion</h4>AR-V7, CTC, and AR-FL are associated with advanced mCRPC and AR-V7+ predicts for shorter OS.