The pluripotency factor Nanog is directly upregulated by the androgen receptor in prostate cancer cells.
ABSTRACT: The Androgen Receptor (AR) is a nuclear hormone receptor that functions as a critical oncogene in all stages of prostate cancer progression, including progression to castration-resistance following androgen-deprivation therapy. Thus, identifying and targeting critical AR-regulated genes is one potential method to block castration-resistant cancer proliferation. Of particular importance are transcription factors that regulate stem cell pluripotency; many of these genes are emerging as critical oncogenes in numerous tumor cell types. Of these, Nanog has been previously shown to increase the self-renewal and stem-like properties of prostate cancer cells. Thus, we hypothesized that Nanog is a candidate AR target gene that may impart castration-resistance.We modulated AR signaling in LNCaP prostate cancer cells and assayed for Nanog expression. Direct AR binding to the NANOG promoter was tested using AR Chromatin Immunoprecipation (ChIP) and analyses of publically available AR ChIP-sequencing data-sets. Nanog over-expressing cells were analyzed for cell growth and cytotoxicity in response to the AR antagonist enzalutamide and the microtubule stabilizing agent docetaxel.AR signaling upregulates Nanog mRNA and protein. AR binds directly to the NANOG promoter, and was not identified within 75?kb of the NANOGP8 pseudogene, suggesting the NANOG gene locus was preferentially activated. Nanog overexpression in LNCaP cells increases overall growth, but does not increase resistance to enzalutamide or docetaxel.Nanog is a novel oncogenic AR target gene in prostate cancer cells, and stable expression of Nanog increases proliferation and growth of prostate cancer cells, but not resistance to enzalutamide or docetaxel.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) is best known for its role in neuro-transmitter regulation. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are used to treat atypical depression. MAOA is highly expressed in high grade prostate cancer and modulates tumorigenesis and progression in prostate cancer. Here, we investigated the potential role of MAOA inhibitors (MAOAIs) in relation to the androgen receptor (AR) pathway and resistance to antiandrogen treatment in prostate cancer. METHODS:We examined MAOA expression and the effect of MAOI treatment in relation to AR-targeted treatments using the LNCaP, C4-2B, and 22Rv1 human prostate cancer cell lines. MAOA, AR-full length (AR-FL), AR splice variant 7 (AR-V7), and PSA expression was evaluated in the presence of MAOAIs (clorgyline, phenelzine), androgenic ligand (R1881), and antiandrogen (enzalutamide) treatments. An enzalutamide resistance cell line was generated to test the effect of MAOAI treatment in this model. RESULTS:We observed that MAOAIs, particularly clorgyline and phenelzine, were effective at decreasing MAOA activity in human prostate cancer cells. MAOAIs significantly decreased growth of LNCaP, C4-2B, and 22Rv1 cells and produced additive growth inhibitory effects when combined with enzalutamide. Clorgyline decreased expression of AR-FL and AR-V7 in 22Rv1 cells and was effective at decreasing growth of an enzalutamide-resistant C4-2B cell line with increased AR-V7 expression. CONCLUSIONS:MAOAIs decrease growth and proliferation of androgen-sensitive and castration-resistant prostate cancer cells. Clorgyline, in particular, decreases expression of AR-FL and AR-V7 expression and decreases growth of an enzalutamide-resistant cell line. These findings provide preclinical validation of MAOA inhibitors either alone or in combination with antiandrogens for therapeutic intent in patients with advanced forms of prostate cancer.
Project description:Enzalutamide is a second-generation anti-androgen for treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CPRC). It prolongs survival of CRPC patients, but its overall survival benefit is relatively modest (4.8 months) and by 24 months most patients progress on enzalutamide. To date, however, the molecular mechanisms underlying enzalutamide resistance remain elusive. Herein, we report enzalutamide treatment-induced alterations of androgen receptor (AR)-regulated enhancer RNAs (AR-eRNAs) and their roles in enzalutamide-resistant growth and survival of CRPC cells. AR chromatin immunoprecipitation and high throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq) and RNA-seq analyses revealed that 188 and 227 AR-eRNAs were differentially expressed in enzalutamide-resistant LNCaP and C4-2 cells, respectively. The AR-eRNAs upregulated in C4-2 cells and downregulated in LNCaP cells were selected through meta-analysis. Expression of AR-eRNAs and related mRNAs in the loci of FTO, LUZP2, MARC1 and NCAM2 were further verified by real-time RT-PCR. Silencing of LUZP2 inhibited, but silencing of MARC1 increased the growth of enzalutamide-resistant C4-2 cells. Intriguingly, meta-analysis showed that expression of LUZP2 mRNA increased in primary tumors compared to normal prostate tissues, but decreased again in metastatic CRPC. Our findings suggest that eRNA alteration profiling is a viable new approach to identify functional gene loci that may not only contribute to enzalutamide-resistant growth of CRPC, but also serve as new targets for CRPC therapy.
Project description:Expression of androgen receptor (AR) in prostate cancer (PCa) is heterogeneous but the functional significance of AR heterogeneity remains unclear. Screening ~200 castration-resistant PCa (CRPC) cores and whole-mount sections (from 89 patients) reveals 3 AR expression patterns: nuclear (nuc-AR), mixed nuclear/cytoplasmic (nuc/cyto-AR), and low/no expression (AR<sup>-/lo</sup>). Xenograft modeling demonstrates that AR<sup>+</sup> CRPC is enzalutamide-sensitive but AR<sup>-/lo</sup> CRPC is resistant. Genome editing-derived AR<sup>+</sup> and AR-knockout LNCaP cell clones exhibit distinct biological and tumorigenic properties and contrasting responses to enzalutamide. RNA-Seq and biochemical analyses, coupled with experimental combinatorial therapy, identify BCL-2 as a critical therapeutic target and provide proof-of-concept therapeutic regimens for both AR<sup>+/hi</sup> and AR<sup>-/lo</sup> CRPC. Our study links AR expression heterogeneity to distinct castration/enzalutamide responses and has important implications in understanding the cellular basis of prostate tumor responses to AR-targeting therapies and in facilitating development of novel therapeutics to target AR<sup>-/lo</sup> PCa cells/clones.
Project description:Gain-of-function of the androgen receptor (AR) and activation of PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway have been demonstrated to correlate with progression to castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). However, inhibition of AR or PI3K/mTOR alone results in a reciprocal feedback activation. Therefore, we hypothesized that dual inhibition of the AR and PI3K/mTOR pathway might lead to a synergistic inhibition of cell growth and overcome drug resistance in CRPC. Here, we reported that androgen-depletion increased AR protein level and Akt phosphorylation at Ser473 and Thr308 in LNCaP cells. Moreover, we developed resistance cell lines of LNCaP to Enzalutamide (or MDV3100), an AR inhibitor (named as LNCaP 'MDV-R') and PF-04691502, a PI3K/mTOR inhibitor (named as LNCaP 'PF-R'). MTS analysis showed that LNCaP 'PF-R' was strongly resistant to Enzalutamide treatment, and on the other hand, LNCaP 'MDV-R' was 6-fold resistant to PF-04691502 treatment. Mechanistically, LNCaP 'MDV-R' cells had significantly reduced AR, loss of PSA and increase Akt activity in contrast with LNCaP 'PF-R' cells. Combined inhibition of PI3K/mTOR and AR pathways with a variety of small molecular inhibitors led to a synergistic suppression of cell proliferation and a profound increase of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in both androgen-dependent LNCaP and independent CRPC 22Rv1 cell lines. In conclusion, this study provides preclinical proof-of-concept that the combination of a PI3K/mTOR inhibitor with an AR inhibitor results in a synergistic anti-tumor response in non-CRPC and CRPC models.
Project description:Enzalutamide is an androgen receptor (AR) inhibitor approved for therapy of metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer. However, clinical application revealed that 30 to 40% of patients acquire resistance after a short period of treatment. Currently, the molecular mechanisms underlying such resistances are not completely understood, partly due to a lack of model systems. In the present study we established three different cellular models of enzalutamide resistance including a cell line with wild type AR (LAPC4), DuCaP cells which overexpress wild-type AR, as well as a cell which has been adapted to long term androgen ablation (LNCaP Abl) and harbors the AR T878A mutation. After 10 months of cultivation, sustained growth in the presence of enzalutamide was achieved. When compared to controls, resistant cells exhibit significantly decreased sensitivity to enzalutamide as measured with 3[H]thymidine incorporation and WST assay. Moreover, these cell models exhibit partly re-activated AR signaling despite presence of enzalutamide. In addition, we show that enzalutamide resistant cells are insensitive to bicalutamide but retain considerable sensitivity to abiraterone. Mechanistically, enzalutamide resistance was accompanied by increased AR and AR-V7 mRNA and protein expression as well as AR gene amplification, while no additional AR mutations have been identified.
Project description:Although the newly developed second-generation anti-androgen drug enzalutamide can repress prostate cancer progression significantly, it only extends the survival of prostate cancer patients by 4-6 months mainly due to the occurrence of enzalutamide resistance. Most of the previous studies on AR antagonist resistance have been focused on AR signaling. Therefore, the non-AR pathways on enzalutamide resistance remain largely unknown. By using C4-2, CWR22Rv1 and LNCaP cell lines, as well as mice bearing CWR22Rv1 xenografts treated with either enzalutamide or metformin alone or in combination, we demonstrated that metformin is capable of reversing enzalutamide resistance and restores sensitivity of CWR22Rv1 xenografts to enzalutamide. We showed that metformin alleviated resistance to enzalutamide by inhibiting EMT. Furthermore, based on the effect of metformin on the activation of STAT3 and expression of TGF-?1, we propose that metformin exerts its effects by targeting the TGF-?1/STAT3 axis. These findings suggest that combination of metformin with enzalutamide could be a more efficacious therapeutic strategy for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer.
Project description:Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed and second-most lethal cancer among men in the United States. The vast majority of prostate cancer deaths are due to castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) - the lethal form of the disease that has progressed despite therapies that interfere with activation of androgen receptor (AR) signaling. One emergent resistance mechanism to medical castration is synthesis of intratumoral androgens that activate the AR. This insight led to the development of the AR antagonist enzalutamide. However, resistance to enzalutamide invariably develops, and disease progression is nearly universal. One mechanism of resistance to enzalutamide is an F877L mutation in the AR ligand-binding domain that can convert enzalutamide to an agonist of AR activity. However, mechanisms that contribute to the agonist switch had not been fully clarified, and there were no therapies to block AR F877L. Using cell line models of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), we determined that cellular androgen content influences enzalutamide agonism of mutant F877L AR. Further, enzalutamide treatment of AR F877L-expressing cell lines recapitulated the effects of androgen activation of F877L AR or wild-type AR. Because the BET bromodomain inhibitor JQ-1 was previously shown to block androgen activation of wild-type AR, we tested JQ-1 in AR F877L-expressing CRPC models. We determined that JQ-1 suppressed androgen or enzalutamide activation of mutant F877L AR and suppressed growth of mutant F877L AR CRPC tumors in vivo, demonstrating a new strategy to treat tumors harboring this mutation.
Project description:Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths of men in Western countries. Androgen deprivation therapy is initially successful, however eventually fails, and tumors progress to the more aggressive castration-resistant PCa (CRPC). Yet, androgen receptor (AR) usually remains as a major regulator of tumor cell proliferation in CRPC. Interleukin-23 (IL-23) was recently shown to promote the development of CRPC by driving AR transcription. Here we used the androgen-sensitive LNCaP, castration-resistant C4-2, and 22Rv1 cells. Interestingly, cellular senescence is induced in these human cell lines by treatment with the AR antagonists enzalutamide (ENZ) or darolutamide (ODM), which might be one underlying mechanism for inhibition of PCa cell proliferation. Treatment with IL-23 alone did not change cellular senescence levels in these cell lines, whereas IL-23 inhibited significantly cellular senescence levels induced by ENZ or ODM in both CRPC cell lines C4-2 and 22Rv1 but not in LNCaP cells. This indicates a response of IL-23 specific in CRPC cells. Generating LNCaP and C4-2 three-dimensional (3D) spheroids and treatment with AR antagonists resulted in the reduced spheroid volume and thus growth inhibition. However, the combination of AR antagonists with IL-23 did not affect the antagonist-mediated reduction of spheroid volumes. This observation was confirmed with proliferation assays using adherent monolayer cell cultures. Taken together, the data indicate that IL-23 treatment reduces the AR antagonists-induced level of cellular senescence of CRPC cells, which could be one possible mechanism for promoting castration resistance.
Project description:Androgen receptor (AR) inhibitors represent the mainstay of prostate cancer treatment. In a genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 screen using LNCaP prostate cancer cells, loss of co-repressor TLE3 conferred resistance to AR antagonists apalutamide and enzalutamide. Genes differentially expressed upon TLE3 loss share AR as the top transcriptional regulator, and TLE3 loss rescued the expression of a subset of androgen-responsive genes upon enzalutamide treatment. GR expression was strongly upregulated upon AR inhibition in a TLE3-negative background. This was consistent with binding of TLE3 and AR at the GR locus. Furthermore, GR binding was observed proximal to TLE3/AR-shared genes. GR inhibition resensitized TLE3KO cells to enzalutamide. Analyses of patient samples revealed an association between TLE3 and GR levels that reflected our findings in LNCaP cells, of which the clinical relevance is yet to be determined. Together, our findings reveal a mechanistic link between TLE3 and GR-mediated resistance to AR inhibitors in human prostate cancer.