Mechanisms of the androgen receptor splicing in prostate cancer cells.
ABSTRACT: Prostate tumors develop resistance to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) by multiple mechanisms, one of which is to express constitutively active androgen receptor (AR) splice variants lacking the ligand-binding domain. AR splice variant 7 (AR-V7, also termed AR3) is the most abundantly expressed variant that drives prostate tumor progression under ADT conditions. However, the molecular mechanism by which AR-V7 is generated remains unclear. In this manuscript, we demonstrated that RNA splicing of AR-V7 in response to ADT was closely associated with AR gene transcription initiation and elongation rates. Enhanced AR gene transcription by ADT provides a prerequisite condition that further increases the interactions between AR pre-mRNA and splicing factors. Under ADT conditions, recruitment of several RNA splicing factors to the 3' splicing site for AR-V7 was increased. We identified two RNA splicing enhancers and their binding proteins (U2AF65 and ASF/SF2) that had critical roles in splicing AR pre-mRNA into AR-V7. These data indicate that ADT-induced AR gene transcription rate and splicing factor recruitment to AR pre-mRNA contribute to the enhanced AR-V7 levels in prostate cancer cells.
Project description:The androgen receptor (AR) is required for prostate development and is also a major driver of prostate cancer pathogenesis. Thus androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is the mainstay of treatment for advanced prostate cancer. However, castration resistance due to expression of constitutively active AR splice variants is a significant challenge to prostate cancer therapy; little is known why effectiveness of ADT can only last for a relatively short time. In the present study, we show that PCGEM1 interacts with splicing factors heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) A1 and U2AF65, as determined by RNA precipitation and Western blot, suggesting a role for PCGEM1 in alternative splicing. In support of this possibility, PCGEM1 is correlated with AR3, a predominant and clinically important form of AR splice variants in prostate cancer. Moreover, androgen deprivation (AD) induces PCGEM1 and causes its accumulation in nuclear speckles. Finally, we show that the AD-induced PCGEM1 regulates the competition between hnRNP A1 and U2AF65 for AR pre-mRNA. AD promotes PCGEM1 to interact with both hnRNP A1 and U2AF65 with different consequences. While the interaction of PCGEM1 with hnRNP A1 suppresses AR3 by exon skipping, its interaction with U2AF65 promotes AR3 by exonization. Together, we demonstrate an AD-mediated AR3 expression involving PCGEM1 and splicing factors.
Project description:The mechanism(s) by which androgen receptor (AR) splice variants contribute to castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is still lacking.Expressions of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and stem cell markers were molecularly tested using prostate cancer (PCa) cells transfected with AR and AR3 (also known as AR-V7) plasmids or siRNA, and also cultured cells under androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) condition. Cell migration, clonogenicity, sphere-forming capacity was assessed using PCa cells under all experimental conditions and 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM; BR-DIM) treatment. Human PCa samples from BR-DIM untreated or treated patients were also used for assessing the expression of AR3 and stem cell markers.Overexpression of AR led to the induction of EMT phenotype, while overexpression of AR3 not only induced EMT but also led to the expression of stem cell signature genes. More importantly, ADT enhanced the expression of AR and AR3 concomitant with up-regulated expression of EMT and stem cell marker genes. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) treatment decreased the expression of AR and AR3, and reversed the expression of these EMT and stem cell marker genes. BR-DIM administered to PCa patients prior to radical prostatectomy inhibited the expression of cancer stem cell markers consistent with inhibition of self-renewal of PCa cells after BR-DIM treatment.AR variants could contribute to PCa progression through induction of EMT and acquisition of stem cell characteristics, which could be attenuated by BR-DIM, suggesting that BR-DIM could become a promising agent for the prevention of CRPC and/or for the treatment of PCa.
Project description:Advanced or metastatic prostate cancer is treated by androgen deprivation; however, patients inevitably relapse with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). CRPC remains dependent on androgen receptor (AR) signaling, which may include constitutive, ligand-independent action of naturally occurring AR splice variants. For example, the AR splice variant AR3 (also termed AR-V7) is expressed in CRPC and is linked to poor prognosis. Vav3, a Rho GTPase guanine nucleotide exchange factor, is an AR coactivator that is up-regulated in human prostate cancer compared with benign tissue and in preclinical models of CRPC. Vav3 confers castration-resistant growth to androgen-dependent human prostate cancer cells. Despite the importance of AR coactivators in promoting CRPC, the potential role of these regulatory proteins in modulating AR splice variant activity is unknown. We examined the contributions of Vav3 to AR activity in two CRPC cell lines that naturally express relatively high levels of Vav3 and AR3. Vav3 or AR3 knockdown greatly attenuated cell proliferation, soft agar growth, and ligand-independent AR activity. Vav3 potently enhanced the transcriptional activity of AR3 and another clinically relevant AR splice variant, ARv567es. Vav3 knockdown resulted in lowered nuclear AR3 levels, whereas total AR3 levels remained similar. Conversely, overexpression of Vav3 resulted in increased nuclear AR3. Coimmunoprecipitation revealed that AR3 and Vav3 interact. These novel data demonstrating physical and functional interactions between Vav3, a unique AR coactivator, and an AR splice variant provide insights into the mechanisms by which Vav3 exploits and enhances AR signaling in the progression to CRPC.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is the first-line treatment to metastatic prostate cancer (PCa). However, sustained expression and function of the androgen receptor (AR) gene contribute to the progression of castration resistant prostate cancers (CRPC). Additionally, tumors can adapt the PI3K/AKT survival pathway to escape ADT. Co-targeting AR and PI3K/AKT signaling has been proposed to be a more effective therapeutic means for CRPC patients. Many clinical trials are ongoing to test whether PI3K/AKT inhibitors are beneficial to PCa patients. However whether these inhibitors have any impacts on the expressions of full length AR (AR-FL) and its splice variant (AR-V7) remains unclear.<h4>Methods</h4>Four human prostate cancer cell lines (LNCaP, LNCaP95, VCaP and 22Rv1) with different genetic backgrounds were treated with five PI3K/AKT inhibitors (LY294002, Wortmannin, BKM120, AKTi and AZD5363) and or AKT siRNA. AR and AR-V7 protein and mRNA levels were measured by immunoblotting and real-time PCR assays. AR gene transcription initiation, alternative RNA splicing and AR mRNA degradation rates were also determined.<h4>Results</h4>PI3K/AKT inhibitors had various impacts on AR protein expressions primarily through alterations of AR gene transcription initiation and RNA splicing. However, these effects remained unchanged in the presence RNA silencing of the AKT genes.<h4>Conclusion</h4>PI3K/AKT inhibitors have off-target effects on AR gene expression in prostate cancer cells, which shall be considered when applying these inhibitors to PCa patients, particularly patients under ADT treatment.
Project description:Deregulation of androgen receptor (AR) splice variants has been implicated to play a role in prostate cancer development and progression. To understand their functions in prostate, we established a transgenic mouse model (AR3Tg) with targeted expression of the constitutively active and androgen-independent AR splice variant AR3 (a.k.a. AR-V7) in prostate epithelium. We found that overexpression of AR3 modulates expression of a number of tumor-promoting autocrine/paracrine growth factors (including Tgf?2 and Igf1) and expands prostatic progenitor cell population, leading to development of prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia. In addition, we showed that some epithelial-mesenchymal transition-associated genes are up-regulated in AR3Tg prostates, suggesting that AR3 may antagonize AR activity and halt the differentiation process driven by AR and androgen. This notion is supported by our observations that the number of Ck5(+)/Ck8(+) intermediate cells is increased in AR3Tg prostates after castration, and expression of AR3 transgene in these intermediate cells compromises prostate epithelium regeneration upon androgen replacement. Our results demonstrate that AR3 is a driver of prostate cancer, at least in part, through modulating multiple tumor-promoting autocrine/paracrine factors.
Project description:Prostate is the most frequent cancer in men. Prostate cancer progression is driven by androgen steroid hormones, and delayed by androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). Androgens control transcription by stimulating androgen receptor (AR) activity, yet also control pre-mRNA splicing through less clear mechanisms. Here we find androgens regulate splicing through AR-mediated transcriptional control of the epithelial-specific splicing regulator ESRP2. Both ESRP2 and its close paralog ESRP1 are highly expressed in primary prostate cancer. Androgen stimulation induces splicing switches in many endogenous ESRP2-controlled mRNA isoforms, including splicing switches correlating with disease progression. ESRP2 expression in clinical prostate cancer is repressed by ADT, which may thus inadvertently dampen epithelial splice programmes. Supporting this, treatment with the AR antagonist bicalutamide (Casodex) induced mesenchymal splicing patterns of genes including FLNB and CTNND1. Our data reveals a new mechanism of splicing control in prostate cancer with important implications for disease progression.
Project description:Androgen receptor (AR) splice variants lacking the ligand binding domain (ARVs), originally isolated from prostate cancer cell lines derived from a single patient, are detected in normal and malignant human prostate tissue, with the highest levels observed in late stage, castration-resistant prostate cancer. The most studied variant (called AR-V7 or AR3) activates AR reporter genes in the absence of ligand and therefore, could play a role in castration resistance. To explore the range of potential ARVs, we screened additional human and murine prostate cancer models using conventional and next generation sequencing technologies and detected several structurally diverse AR isoforms. Some, like AR-V7/AR3, display gain of function, whereas others have dominant interfering activity. We also find that ARV expression increases acutely in response to androgen withdrawal, is suppressed by testosterone, and in some models, is coupled to full-length AR (AR-FL) mRNA production. As expected, constitutively active, ligand-independent ARVs such as AR-V7/AR3 are sufficient to confer anchorage-independent (in vitro) and castration-resistant (in vivo) growth. Surprisingly, this growth is blocked by ligand binding domain-targeted antiandrogens, such as MDV3100, or by selective siRNA silencing of AR-FL, indicating that the growth-promoting effects of ARVs are mediated through AR-FL. These data indicate that the increase in ARV expression in castrate-resistant prostate cancer is an acute response to castration rather than clonal expansion of castration or antiandrogen-resistant cells expressing gain of function ARVs, and furthermore, they provide a strategy to overcome ARV function in the clinic.
Project description:The androgen receptor (AR) is a central driver of aggressive prostate cancer. After initial treatment with androgen receptor signaling inhibitors (ARSi), reactivation of AR signaling leads to resistance. Alternative splicing of AR mRNA yields the AR-V7 splice variant, which is currently an undruggable mechanism of ARSi resistance: AR-V7 lacks a ligand binding domain, where hormones and anti-androgen antagonists act, but still activates AR signaling. We reveal PKCβ as a druggable regulator of transcription and splicing at the AR genomic locus. We identify a clinical PKCβ inhibitor in combination with an FDA-approved anti-androgen as an approach for repressing AR genomic locus expression, including expression of AR-V7, while antagonizing full-length AR. PKCβ inhibition reduces total AR gene expression, thus reducing AR-V7 protein levels and sensitizing prostate cancer cells to current anti-androgen therapies. We demonstrate that this combination may be a viable therapeutic strategy for AR-V7-positive prostate cancer.
Project description:Background:Accumulating evidence suggests androgen receptor splice variant 7 (AR-V7) may be associated with the prognosis of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) received novel hormonal therapy while its characteristic and prognosis value in hormonal sensitive prostate cancer is unclear. Methods:We aimed to evaluate the prognostic role of AR-V7 by progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in hormonal sensitive prostate cancer (HSPC), and the AR-V7-positive-proportion difference in HSPC and CRPC. A search of PubMed, Embase, and the Web of Science was performed using the keywords prostate cancer, prostate tumor, prostate neoplasm, prostate carcinoma; AR-V7, AR3, androgen receptor splicing variant-7, or androgen receptor-3. Seventeen trials published due December 2019 were enrolled. Results:AR-V7-positive proportion in CRPC was significantly larger than newly diagnosed prostate cancer (PCa) (odds ratio [OR] 7.06, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.52-19.83, P?<?0.001). Subgroup analyses indicated significantly higher AR-V7-positive proportion in CRPC derived from RNA in situ hybridization (OR 65.23, 95% CI 1.34-3171.43, P?=?0.04), exosome RNA (OR 3.88, 95% CI 0.98-15.39, P?=?0.05) and tissue RNA (OR 10.89, 95% CI 4.13-28.73, P?<?0.001). AR-V7-positive patients had a significantly shorter PFS than those who were AR-V7-negative treated with first-line hormonal therapy (hazard ratio [HR] 3.63, 95% CI 1.85-7.10, P?<?0.001) and prostatectomy (HR 2.49, 95% CI 1.33-4.64, P?=?0.004). OS (HR 5.59, 95% CI 2.89-10.80, P?<?0.001) were better in AR-V7-negative than AR-V7-positive HSPC patients treated with first-line hormonal therapy. The limitations of our meta-analysis were differences in study sample size and design, AR-V7 detection assay, and disease characteristics. Conclusion:AR-V7-positive proportion was significantly higher in CRPC than that in newly diagnosed PCa. AR-V7 positive HSPC patients portend worse prognosis of first-line hormonal therapy and prostatectomy. Additional studies are warranted to confirm these findings.
Project description:Reactivation of the androgen receptor (AR) during androgen depletion therapy (ADT) underlies castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPCa). Alternative splicing of the AR gene and synthesis of constitutively active COOH-terminally truncated AR variants lacking the AR ligand-binding domain has emerged as an important mechanism of ADT resistance in CRPCa. In a previous study, we demonstrated that altered AR splicing in CRPCa 22Rv1 cells was linked to a 35-kb intragenic tandem duplication of AR exon 3 and flanking sequences. In this study, we demonstrate that complex patterns of AR gene copy number imbalances occur in PCa cell lines, xenografts and clinical specimens. To investigate whether these copy number imbalances reflect AR gene rearrangements that could be linked to splicing disruptions, we carried out a detailed analysis of AR gene structure in the LuCaP 86.2 and CWR-R1 models of CRPCa. By deletion-spanning PCR, we discovered a 8579-bp deletion of AR exons 5, 6 and 7 in the LuCaP 86.2 xenograft, which provides a rational explanation for synthesis of the truncated AR v567es AR variant in this model. Similarly, targeted resequencing of the AR gene in CWR-R1 cells led to the discovery of a 48-kb deletion in AR intron 1. This intragenic deletion marked a specific CWR-R1 cell population with enhanced expression of the truncated AR-V7/AR3 variant, a high level of androgen-independent AR transcriptional activity and rapid androgen independent growth. Together, these data demonstrate that structural alterations in the AR gene are linked to stable gain-of-function splicing alterations in CRPCa.