Prostate cancer remains dependent on androgen receptor signaling even after castration. Aberrant androgen receptor signaling in castration-resistant prostate cancer is mediated by mechanisms such as alterations in the androgen receptor and activation of interacting signaling pathways. Clinical evidence confirms that resistance to the next-generation antiandrogen, enzalutamide, may be mediated to a large extent by alternative splicing of the androgen receptor to generate constitutively active splice variants such as AR-V7. The splice variants AR-V7 and ARv567es have been implicated in the resistance to not only enzalutamide, but also to abiraterone and other conventional therapeutics such as taxanes. Numerous studies, including ours, suggest that splicing factors such as hnRNPA1 promote the generation of AR-V7, thus contributing to enzalutamide resistance in prostate cancer cells. In the present study, we discovered that quercetin, a naturally occurring polyphenolic compound, reduces the expression of hnRNPA1, and consequently, that of AR-V7. The suppression of AR-V7 by quercetin resensitizes enzalutamide-resistant prostate cancer cells to treatment with enzalutamide. Our results indicate that quercetin downregulates hnRNPA1 expression, downregulates the expression of AR-V7, antagonizes androgen receptor signaling, and resensitizes enzalutamide-resistant prostate cancer cells to enzalutamide treatment in vivo in mouse xenografts. These findings demonstrate that suppressing the alternative splicing of the androgen receptor may have important implications in overcoming the resistance to next-generation antiandrogen therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research