The p14ARF tumor suppressor restrains androgen receptor activity and prevents apoptosis in prostate cancer cells

Salma Siddiqui, Stephen J. Libertini, Christopher A. Lucas, Alan P. Lombard, Han Bit Baek, Rachel M. Nakagawa, Kristine S. Nishida, Thomas M. Steele, Frank U. Melgoza, Alexander D. Borowsky, Blythe P. Durbin-Johnson, Li Hong Qi, Paramita M. Ghosh, Maria Mudryj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Prostate cancer (PCa) is characterized by a unique dependence on optimal androgen receptor (AR) activity where physiological androgen concentrations induce proliferation but castrate and supraphysiological levels suppress growth. This feature has been exploited in bipolar androgen therapy (BAT) for castrate resistant malignancies. Here, we investigated the role of the tumor suppressor protein p14ARF in maintaining optimal AR activity and the function of the AR itself in regulating p14ARF levels. We used a tumor tissue array of differing stages and grades to define the relationships between these components and identified a strong positive correlation between p14ARF and AR expression. Mechanistic studies utilizing CWR22 xenograft and cell culture models revealed that a decrease in AR reduced p14ARF expression and deregulated E2F factors, which are linked to p14ARF and AR regulation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation studies identified AR binding sites upstream of p14ARF. p14ARF depletion enhanced AR-dependent PSA and TMPRSS2 transcription, hence p14ARF constrains AR activity. However, p14ARF depletion ultimately results in apoptosis. In PCa cells, AR co-ops p14ARF as part of a feedback mechanism to ensure optimal AR activity for maximal prostate cancer cell survival and proliferation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-21
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Letters
StatePublished - Jul 28 2020


  • Androgen receptor
  • Apoptosis
  • E2F
  • p14ARF
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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