Loss of Fibroblast-Dependent Androgen Receptor Activation in Prostate Cancer Cells is Involved in the Mechanism of Acquired Resistance to Castration.
ABSTRACT: Loss of androgen receptor (AR) dependency in prostate cancer (PCa) cells is associated with progression to castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). The tumor stroma is enriched in fibroblasts that secrete AR-activating factors. To investigate the roles of fibroblasts in AR activation under androgen deprivation, we used three sublines of androgen-sensitive LNCaP cells (E9 and F10 cells: low androgen sensitivity; and AIDL cells: androgen insensitivity) and original fibroblasts derived from patients with PCa. We performed in vivo experiments using three sublines of LNCaP cells and original fibroblasts to form homotypic tumors. The volume of tumors derived from E9 cells plus fibroblasts was reduced following androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), whereas that of F10 or AIDL cells plus fibroblasts was increased even after ADT. In tumors derived from E9 cells plus fibroblasts, serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) decreased rapidly after ADT, but was still detectable. In contrast, serum PSA was increased even in F10 cells inoculated alone. In indirect cocultures with fibroblasts, PSA production was increased in E9 cells. Epidermal growth factor treatment stimulated Akt and p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphorylation in E9 cells. Notably, AR splice variant 7 was detected in F10 cells. Overall, we found that fibroblast-secreted AR-activating factors modulated AR signaling in E9 cells after ADT and loss of fibroblast-dependent AR activation in F10 cells may be responsible for CRPC progression.
Project description:Despite androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), persistent androgen receptor (AR) signaling enables outgrowth of castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). In prostate cancer (PCa) cells, ADT may enhance AR activity through induction of oxidative stress. Herein, we investigated the roles of Nrf1 and Nrf2, transcription factors that regulate antioxidant gene expression, on hormone-mediated AR transactivation using a syngeneic in vitro model of androgen dependent (LNCaP) and castration resistant (C4-2B) PCa cells. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) stimulated transactivation of the androgen response element (ARE) was significantly greater in C4-2B cells than in LNCaP cells. DHT-induced AR transactivation was coupled with higher nuclear translocation of p65-Nrf1 in C4-2B cells, as compared to LNCaP cells. Conversely, DHT stimulation suppressed total Nrf2 levels in C4-2B cells but elevated total Nrf2 levels in LNCaP cells. Interestingly, siRNA mediated silencing of Nrf1 attenuated AR transactivation while p65-Nrf1 overexpression enhanced AR transactivation. Subsequent studies showed that Nrf1 physically interacts with AR and enhances AR's DNA-binding activity, suggesting that the p65-Nrf1 isoform is a potential AR coactivator. In contrast, Nrf2 suppressed AR-mediated transactivation by stimulating the nuclear accumulation of the p120-Nrf1 which suppressed AR transactivation. Quantitative RT-PCR studies further validated the inductive effects of p65-Nrf1 isoform on the androgen regulated genes, PSA and TMPRSS2. Therefore, our findings implicate differential roles of Nrf1 and Nrf2 in regulating AR transactivation in PCa cells. Our findings also indicate that the DHT-stimulated increase in p65-Nrf1 and the simultaneous suppression of both Nrf2 and p120-Nrf1 ultimately facilitates AR transactivation in CRPC cells.
Project description:Despite aggressive treatment for localized cancer, prostate cancer (PC) remains a leading cause of cancer-related death for American men due to a subset of patients progressing to lethal and incurable metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Organ-confined PC is treated by surgery or radiation with or without androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), while options for locally advanced and disseminated PC include radiation combined with ADT, or systemic treatments including chemotherapy. Progression to CRPC results from failure of ADT, which targets the androgen receptor (AR) signaling axis and inhibits AR-driven proliferation and survival pathways. The exact mechanisms underlying the transition from androgen-dependent PC to CRPC remain incompletely understood. Reactivation of AR has been shown to occur in CRPC despite depletion of circulating androgens by ADT. At the same time, the presence of AR-negative cell populations in CRPC has also been identified. While AR signaling has been proposed as the primary driver of CRPC, AR-independent signaling pathways may represent additional mechanisms underlying CRPC progression. Identification of new therapeutic strategies to target both AR-positive and AR-negative PC cell populations and, thereby, AR-driven as well as non-AR-driven PC cell growth and survival mechanisms would provide a two-pronged approach to eliminate CRPC cells with potential for synthetic lethality. In this review, we provide an overview of AR-dependent and AR-independent molecular mechanisms which drive CRPC, with special emphasis on the role of the Jak2-Stat5a/b signaling pathway in promoting castrate-resistant growth of PC through both AR-dependent and AR-independent mechanisms.
Project description:Advanced prostate cancer can develop into castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). This process is mediated either by intratumoral ligand synthesis or by mutations or aberrations of the androgen receptor (AR) or its cofactors. To date, no curative therapy for CRPC is available, as AR-targeted therapies eventually result in the development of resistance. The human prostate cancer cell line VCaP (vertebral cancer of the prostate) overexpresses AR and its splice variants (ARVs) as a mechanism of resistance to androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) of external and intratumoral origin. In the present study, we demonstrate that stimulating estrogen receptor ? activity with the specific agonist 8?-VE2 in VCaP cells in successive stages of ADT induced a time- and dose-dependent decrease in cell survival and an increase in apoptosis. Furthermore, 8?-VE2 treatment reduced the overexpression of the AR as well as ARVs in VCaP cells under maximum ADT. Our results indicate that decreased survival of the androgen-dependent CRPC cells employing apoptosis together with the regulative effect on AR expression could have beneficial effects over current AR-targeting therapies.
Project description:Prostate cancer (PCa) progression is regulated by the androgen receptor (AR); however, patients undergoing androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) for disseminated PCa eventually develop castration-resistant PCa (CRPC). Results of previous studies indicated that AR, a transcription factor, occupies distinct genomic loci in CRPC compared with hormone-naïve PCa; however, the cause of this distinction was unknown. The E3 ubiquitin ligase Nrdp1 is a model AR target modulated by androgens in hormone-naïve PCa but not in CRPC. Using Nrdp1, we investigated how AR switches transcription programs during CRPC progression. The proximal Nrdp1 promoter contains an androgen response element (ARE); we demonstrated AR binding to this ARE in androgen-sensitive PCa. Analysis of hormone-naive human prostatectomy specimens revealed correlation between Nrdp1 and AR expression, supporting AR regulation of NRDP1 levels in androgen-sensitive tissue. However, despite sustained AR levels, AR binding to the Nrdp1 promoter and Nrdp1 expression were suppressed in CRPC. Elucidation of the suppression mechanism demonstrated correlation of NRDP1 levels with nuclear localization of the scaffolding protein filamin A (FLNA) which, as we previously showed, is itself repressed following ADT in many CRPC tumors. Restoration of nuclear FLNA in CRPC stimulated AR binding to Nrdp1 ARE, increased its transcription, and augmented NRDP1 protein expression and responsiveness to ADT, indicating that nuclear FLNA controls AR-mediated androgen-sensitive Nrdp1 transcription. Expression of other AR-regulated genes lost in CRPC was also re-established by nuclear FLNA. Thus, our results indicate that nuclear FLNA promotes androgen-dependent AR-regulated transcription in PCa, while loss of nuclear FLNA in CRPC alters the AR-regulated transcription program.
Project description:As the mainstay treatment for advanced prostate cancer, androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) targets the action of androgen receptor (AR) by reducing androgen level and/or by using anti-androgen to compete with androgens for binding to AR. Albeit effective in extending survival, ADT is associated with dose-limiting toxicity and the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) after prolonged use. Because CRPC is lethal and incurable, developing effective strategies to enhance the efficacy of ADT and circumvent resistance becomes an urgent task. Continuous AR signaling constitutes one major mechanism underlying the development of CRPC. The present study showed that methylseleninic acid (MSA), an agent that effectively reduces AR abundance, could enhance the cancer-killing efficacy of the anti-androgen bicalutamide in androgen-dependent and CRPC cells. We found that the combination of MSA and bicalutamide produced a robust downregulation of prostate-specific antigen and a recently identified AR target, telomerase, and its catalytic subunit, human telomerase reverse transcriptase. The downregulation of hTERT occurs mainly at the transcriptional level, and reduced AR occupancy of the promoter contributes to downregulation. Furthermore, apoptosis induction by the two agents is significantly mitigated by the restoration of hTERT. Our findings thus indicate that MSA in combination with anti-androgen could represent a viable approach to improve the therapeutic outcome of ADT. Given the critical role of hTERT/telomerase downregulation in mediating the combination effect and the fact that hTERT/telomerase could be measured in blood and urine, hTERT/telomerase could serve as an ideal tumor-specific biomarker to monitor the efficacy of the combination therapy noninvasively.
Project description:Platelets have been long postulated to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer, although relatively little is known regarding the precise mechanisms involved. Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer eventually fails with relapse occurring in the form of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). CRPC tumors typically overexpress androgen receptor (AR), demonstrating continued dependence upon AR signaling. Platelets have been previously demonstrated to contain androgens, and we sought to explore the contribution of platelet-derived androgens in CRPC. In this study, we examined the role of platelet-derived androgens in vitro using platelets from men with CRPC, men with high-risk prostate cancer, and healthy male donors. A series of in vitro assays was performed to elucidate the impact of platelet-derived androgens on androgen-sensitive prostate tumor cells. By examining platelet-derived androgen effects on AR signaling in prostate tumor cells, we found that platelets, from men with CRPC and on ADT, strongly induce AR target genes and tumor cell proliferation. Moreover, we show a fully intact testosterone (T) biosynthetic pathway within platelets from its precursor cholesterol and demonstrate that platelets of CRPC patients with ADT resistance are able to generate T. Overall, our findings reveal an unknown capacity of platelets to synthesize T at functionally relevant levels in patients with lethal prostate cancer. Importantly, it suggests a novel paracrine mechanism of T production that may act to sustain CRPC state and potentiate therapeutic resistance.
Project description:Androgen Receptor (AR) signaling is critically important during the development and progression of prostate cancer (PCa). The AR signaling is also important in the development of castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) where AR is functional even after androgen deprivation therapy (ADT); however, little is known regarding the transcriptional and functional regulation of AR in PCa. Moreover, treatment options for primary PCa for preventing the occurrence of CRPC is limited; therefore, novel strategy for direct inactivation of AR is urgently needed. In this study, we found loss of miR-34a, which targets AR, in PCa tissue specimens, especially in patients with higher Gleason grade tumors, consistent with increased expression of AR. Forced overexpression of miR-34a in PCa cell lines led to decreased expression of AR and prostate specific antigen (PSA) as well as the expression of Notch-1, another important target of miR-34a. Most importantly, BR-DIM intervention in PCa patients prior to radical prostatectomy showed re-expression of miR-34a, which was consistent with decreased expression of AR, PSA and Notch-1 in PCa tissue specimens. Moreover, BR-DIM intervention led to nuclear exclusion both in PCa cell lines and in tumor tissues. PCa cells treated with BR-DIM and 5-aza-dC resulted in the demethylation of miR-34a promoter concomitant with inhibition of AR and PSA expression in LNCaP and C4-2B cells. These results suggest, for the first time, epigenetic silencing of miR -34a in PCa, which could be reversed by BR-DIM treatment and, thus BR-DIM could be useful for the inactivation of AR in the treatment of PCa.
Project description:The androgen receptor (AR) is a major driver of prostate cancer development and progression. Men who develop advanced prostate cancer often have long-term cancer control when treated with androgen-deprivation therapies (ADT). Still, their disease inevitably becomes resistant to ADT and progresses to castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). ADT involves potent competitive AR antagonists and androgen synthesis inhibitors. Resistance to these types of treatments emerges, primarily through the maintenance of AR signaling by ligand-independent activation mechanisms. There is a need to find better ways to block AR to overcome CRPC. In the findings reported here, we demonstrate that the nuclear scaffold protein, nucleolin (NCL), suppresses the expression of AR. NCL binds to a G-rich region in the AR promoter that forms a G-quadruplex (G4) structure. Binding of NCL to this G4-element is required for NCL to suppress AR expression, specifically in AR-expressing tumor cells. Compounds that stabilize G4 structures require NCL to associate with the G4-element of the AR promoter in order to decrease AR expression. A newly discovered G4 compound that suppresses AR expression demonstrates selective killing of AR-expressing tumor cells, including CRPC lines. Our findings raise the significant possibility that G4-stabilizing drugs can be used to increase NCL transcriptional repressor activity to block AR expression in prostate cancer. Our studies contribute to a clearer understanding of the mechanisms that control AR expression, which could be exploited to overcome CRPC.
Project description:Although androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is an effective treatment for metastatic prostate cancer, incurable castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) inevitably develops. Importantly, androgen receptor (AR) continues to be critical for prostate cancer growth and progression after ADT. One of the underlying molecular mechanisms is derepression of AR-repressed genes involved in cell cycle and proliferation after ADT. Here, the data demonstrate that C-X-C chemokine receptor type 7 (CXCR7), a seven-transmembrane G-protein-coupled chemokine receptor, is an AR-repressed gene and is upregulated after ADT. AR directly regulates CXCR7 using clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) gene editing. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) was identified as a ligand for CXCR7, which induces expression of cell-cycle genes through activating AKT signaling pathway. Previous studies have been focused on chemokine CXCL12 and its receptor CXCR4 in mediating metastasis of various cancer types, including prostate cancer. The critical roles of CXCL12/CXCR4 axis in the interaction between cancer cells and their microenvironment render it a promising therapeutic target in cancer treatment. The data suggest that the MIF/CXCR7/AKT pathway drives CRPC growth and metastasis independent of the CXCL12/CXCR4 axis. Furthermore, CXCR7 blockade in combination with anti-androgen enzalutamide inhibits CRPC tumor growth and potentially prevents metastasis. Notably, both MIF and CXCR7 are overexpressed in CRPC patient specimens and therefore are attractive therapeutic targets for these patients. IMPLICATIONS: This work suggests that CXCR7 plays more important roles than CXCR4 in CRPC progression; thus, targeting CXCR7 in combination with anti-androgen is a promising therapeutic approach for metastatic CRPC.
Project description:Pirfenidone (PFD) is an anti-fibrotic drug used to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis by inducing G? cell cycle arrest in fibroblasts. We hypothesize that PFD can induce G? cell cycle arrest in different types of cells, including cancer cells. To investigate the effects of PFD treatment on the growth of human prostate cancer (PCa) cells, we used an androgen-sensitive human PCa cell line (LNCaP) and its sublines (androgen-low-sensitive E9 and F10 cells and androgen-insensitive AIDL cells), as well as an androgen-insensitive human PCa cell line (PC-3). PFD treatment suppressed the growth of all PCa cells. Transforming growth factor ?1 secretion was significantly increased in PFD-treated PCa cells. In both LNCaP and PC-3 cells, PFD treatment increased the population of cells in the G?/G? phase, which was accompanied by a decrease in the S/G? cell population. CDK2 protein expression was clearly decreased in PFD-treated LNCaP and PC-3 cells, whereas p21 protein expression was increased in only PFD-treated LNCaP cells. In conclusion, PFD may serve as a novel therapeutic drug that induces G? cell cycle arrest in human PCa cells independently of androgen sensitivity. Thus, in the tumor microenvironment, PFD might target not only fibroblasts, but also heterogeneous PCa cells of varying androgen-sensitivity levels.