Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) remains dependent on androgen receptor (AR) signaling. Alternative splicing of the AR to generate constitutively active, ligand-independent variants is one of the principal mechanisms that promote the development of resistance to next-generation antiandrogens such as enzalutamide. Here, we demonstrate that the splicing factor heterogeneous nuclear RNA-binding protein A1 (hnRNPA1) plays a pivotal role in the generation of AR splice variants such as AR-V7. hnRNPA1 is overexpressed in prostate tumors compared with benign prostates, and its expression is regulated by NF-κB2/p52 and c-Myc. CRPC cells resistant to enzalutamide exhibit higher levels of NF-κB2/p52, c-Myc, hnRNPA1, and AR-V7. Levels of hnRNPA1 and AR-V7 are positively correlated with each other in prostate cancer. The regulatory circuit involving NF-κB2/p52, c-Myc, and hnRNPA1 plays a central role in the generation of AR splice variants. Downregulation of hnRNPA1 and consequently of AR-V7 resensitizes enzalutamide-resistant cells to enzalutamide, indicating that enhanced expression of hnRNPA1 may confer resistance to AR-targeted therapies by promoting the generation of splice variants. These findings may provide a rationale for cotargeting these pathways to achieve better efficacy through AR blockade.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research