Protein homeostasis (proteostasis) is a potential mechanism that contributes to cancer cell survival and drug resistance. Constitutively active androgen receptor (AR) variants confer anti-androgen resistance in advanced prostate cancer. However, the role of proteostasis involved in next generation anti-androgen resistance and the mechanisms of AR variant regulation are poorly defined. Here we show that the ubiquitin-proteasome-system (UPS) is suppressed in enzalutamide/abiraterone resistant prostate cancer. AR/AR-V7 proteostasis requires the interaction of E3 ubiquitin ligase STUB1 and HSP70 complex. STUB1 disassociates AR/AR-V7 from HSP70, leading to AR/AR-V7 ubiquitination and degradation. Inhibition of HSP70 significantly inhibits prostate tumor growth and improves enzalutamide/abiraterone treatments through AR/AR-V7 suppression. Clinically, HSP70 expression is upregulated and correlated with AR/AR-V7 levels in high Gleason score prostate tumors. Our results reveal a novel mechanism of anti-androgen resistance via UPS alteration which could be targeted through inhibition of HSP70 to reduce AR-V7 expression and overcome resistance to AR-targeted therapies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)