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Because of inherent disease heterogeneity, targeted therapies have eluded triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), and biomarkers predictive of treatment response have not yet been identified. This study was designed to determine whether the mTOR inhibitor everolimus with cisplatin and paclitaxel would provide synergistic antitumor effects in TNBC. Patients with stage II/III TNBC were enrolled in a randomized phase II trial of preoperative weekly cisplatin, paclitaxel and daily everolimus or placebo for 12 weeks, until definitive surgery. Tumor specimens were obtained at baseline, cycle 1, and surgery. Primary endpoint was pathologic complete response (pCR); secondary endpoints included clinical responses, breast conservation rate, safety, and discovery of molecular features associated with outcome. Between 2009 and 2013, 145 patients were accrued; 36% of patients in the everolimus arm and 49% of patients in the placebo arm achieved pCR; in each arm, 50% of patients achieved complete responses by imaging. Higher rates of neutropenia, mucositis, and transaminase elevation were seen with everolimus. Clinical response to therapy and long-term outcome correlated with increased frequency of DNA damage response (DDR) gene mutations, Basal-like1 and Mesenchymal TNBC-subtypes, AR-negative status, and high Ki67, but not with tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. The paclitaxel/cisplatin combination was well tolerated and active, but addition of everolimus was associated with more adverse events without improvement in pCR or clinical response. However, discoveries made from correlative studies could lead to predictive TNBC biomarkers that may impact clinical decision-making and provide new avenues for mechanistic exploration that could lead to clinical utility. .
©2017 American Association for Cancer Research.
Height is a highly heritable, classic polygenic trait with approximately 700 common associated variants identified through genome-wide association studies so far. Here, we report 83 height-associated coding variants with lower minor-allele frequencies (in the range of 0.1-4.8%) and effects of up to 2 centimetres per allele (such as those in IHH, STC2, AR and CRISPLD2), greater than ten times the average effect of common variants. In functional follow-up studies, rare height-increasing alleles of STC2 (giving an increase of 1-2 centimetres per allele) compromised proteolytic inhibition of PAPP-A and increased cleavage of IGFBP-4 in vitro, resulting in higher bioavailability of insulin-like growth factors. These 83 height-associated variants overlap genes that are mutated in monogenic growth disorders and highlight new biological candidates (such as ADAMTS3, IL11RA and NOX4) and pathways (such as proteoglycan and glycosaminoglycan synthesis) involved in growth. Our results demonstrate that sufficiently large sample sizes can uncover rare and low-frequency variants of moderate-to-large effect associated with polygenic human phenotypes, and that these variants implicate relevant genes and pathways.
Androgens regulate the proliferation and differentiation of prostatic epithelial cells, including prostate cancer (PCa) cells in a context-dependent manner. Androgens and androgen receptor (AR) do not invariably promote cell proliferation; in the normal adult, endogenous stromal and epithelial AR activation maintains differentiation and inhibits organ growth. In the current study, we report that activation of AR differentially regulates the proliferation of human prostate epithelial progenitor cells, NHPrE1, in vitro and in vivo. Inducing AR signaling in NHPrE1 cells suppressed cell proliferation in vitro, concomitant with a reduction in MYC expression. However, ectopic expression of AR in vivo stimulated cell proliferation and induced development of invasive PCa in tissue recombinants consisting of NHPrE1/AR cells and rat urogenital mesenchymal (UGM) cells, engrafted under renal capsule of adult male athymic mice. Expression of MYC increased in the NHPrE1/AR recombinant tissues, in contrast to the reduction seen in vitro. The inhibitory effect of AR signaling on cell proliferation in vitro were reduced by co-culturing NHPrE1/AR epithelial cells with prostatic stromal cells. In conclusion, these studies revealed that AR signaling differentially regulates proliferation of human prostatic epithelia cells in vitro and in vivo through mechanisms involving stromal/epithelial interactions.
Numerous studies indicate that androgen receptor splice variants (ARVs) play a critical role in the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), including the resistance to the new generation of inhibitors of androgen receptor (AR) action. Previously, we demonstrated that activation of NF-κB signaling increases ARVs expression in prostate cancer (PC) cells, thereby promoting progression to CRPC. However, it is unclear how NF-κB signaling is activated in CRPC. In this study, we report that long-term treatment with anti-androgens increases a neuroendocrine (NE) hormone - gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) and its receptor (GRP-R) expression in PC cells. In addition, activation of GRP/GRP-R signaling increases ARVs expression through activating NF-κB signaling. This results in an androgen-dependent tumor progressing to a castrate resistant tumor. The knock-down of AR-V7 restores sensitivity to antiandrogens of PC cells over-expressing the GRP/GRP-R signaling pathway. These findings strongly indicate that the axis of Androgen-Deprivation Therapy (ADT) induces GRP/GRP-R activity, activation NF-κB and increased levels of AR-V7 expression resulting in progression to CRPC. Both prostate adenocarcinoma and small cell NE prostate cancer express GRP-R. Since the GRP-R is clinically targetable by analogue-based approach, this provides a novel therapeutic approach to treat advanced CRPC.
BACKGROUND - Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is treated with 5α-reductase inhibitors (5ARI). These drugs inhibit the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone resulting in apoptosis and prostate shrinkage. Most patients initially respond to 5ARIs; however, failure is common especially in inflamed prostates, and often results in surgery. This communication examines a link between activation of NF-κB and increased expression of SRD5A2 as a potential mechanism by which patients fail 5ARI therapy.
METHODS - Tissue was collected from "Surgical" patients, treated specifically for lower urinary tract symptoms secondary to advanced BPH; and, cancer free transition zone from "Incidental" patients treated for low grade, localized peripheral zone prostate cancer. Clinical, molecular and histopathological profiles were analyzed. Human prostatic stromal and epithelial cell lines were genetically modified to regulate NF-κB activity, androgen receptor (AR) full length (AR-FL), and AR variant 7 (AR-V7) expression.
RESULTS - SRD5A2 is upregulated in advanced BPH. SRD5A2 was significantly associated with prostate volume determined by Transrectal Ultrasound (TRUS), and with more severe lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) determined by American Urological Association Symptom Score (AUASS). Synthesis of androgens was seen in cells in which NF-κB was activated. AR-FL and AR-V7 expression increased SRD5A2 expression while forced activation of NF-κB increased all three SRD5A isoforms. Knockdown of SRD5A2 in the epithelial cells resulted in significant reduction in proliferation, AR target gene expression, and response to testosterone (T). In tissue recombinants, canonical NF-κB activation in prostatic epithelium elevated all three SRD5A isoforms and resulted in in vivo growth under castrated conditions.
CONCLUSION - Increased BPH severity in patients correlates with SRD5A2 expression. We demonstrate that NF-κB and AR-V7 upregulate SRD5A expression providing a mechanism to explain failure of 5ARI therapy in BPH patients. Prostate 76:1004-1018, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Although men with testosterone deficiency are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes (T2D), previous studies have ignored the role of testosterone and the androgen receptor (AR) in pancreatic β cells. We show that male mice lacking AR in β cells (βARKO) exhibit decreased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), leading to glucose intolerance. The AR agonist dihydrotestosterone (DHT) enhances GSIS in cultured male islets, an effect that is abolished in βARKO(-/y) islets and human islets treated with an AR antagonist. In β cells, DHT-activated AR is predominantly extranuclear and enhances GSIS by increasing islet cAMP and activating the protein kinase A. In mouse and human islets, the insulinotropic effect of DHT depends on activation of the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor, and accordingly, DHT amplifies the incretin effect of GLP-1. This study identifies AR as a novel receptor that enhances β cell function, a finding with implications for the prevention of T2D in aging men.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a common, chronic progressive disease. Inflammation is associated with prostatic enlargement and resistance to 5α-reductase inhibitor (5ARI) therapy. Activation of the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) pathway is linked to both inflammation and ligand-independent prostate cancer progression.
METHODS - NF-κB activation and androgen receptor variant (AR-V) expression were quantified in transition zone tissue samples from patients with a wide range of AUASS from incidental BPH in patients treated for low grade, localized peripheral zone prostate cancer to advanced disease requiring surgical intervention. To further investigate these pathways, human prostatic stromal and epithelial cell lines were transduced with constitutively active or kinase dead forms of IKK2 to regulate canonical NF-κB activity. The effects on AR full length (AR-FL) and androgen-independent AR-V expression as well as cellular growth and differentiation were assessed.
RESULTS - Canonical NF-κB signaling was found to be upregulated in late versus early stage BPH, and to be strongly associated with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. Elevated expression of AR-variant 7 (AR-V7), but not other AR variants, was found in advanced BPH samples. Expression of AR-V7 significantly correlated with the patient AUASS and TRUS volume. Forced activation of canonical NF-κB in human prostatic epithelial and stromal cells resulted in elevated expression of both AR-FL and AR-V7, with concomitant ligand-independent activation of AR reporters. Activation of NF-κB and over expression of AR-V7 in human prostatic epithelial cells maintained cell viability in the face of 5ARI treatment.
CONCLUSION - Activation of NF-κB and AR-V7 in the prostate is associated with increased disease severity. AR-V7 expression is inducible in human prostate cells by forced activation of NF-κB resulting in resistance to 5ARI treatment, suggesting a potential mechanism by which patients may become resistant to 5ARI therapy.
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
A functional complex consisting of androgen receptor (AR) and forkhead box A1 (FOXA1) proteins supports prostatic development, differentiation, and disease. In addition, the interaction of FOXA1 with cofactors such as nuclear factor I (NFI) family members modulates AR target gene expression. However, the global role of specific NFI family members has yet to be described in the prostate. In these studies, chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by DNA sequencing in androgen-dependent LNCaP prostate cancer cells demonstrated that 64.3% of NFIB binding sites are associated with AR and FOXA1 binding sites. Interrogation of published data revealed that genes associated with NFIB binding sites are predominantly induced after dihydrotestosterone treatment of LNCaP cells, whereas NFIB knockdown studies demonstrated that loss of NFIB drives increased AR expression and superinduction of a subset of AR target genes. Notably, genes bound by NFIB only are associated with cell division and cell cycle. To define the role of NFIB in vivo, mouse Nfib knockout prostatic tissue was rescued via renal capsule engraftment. Loss of Nfib expression resulted in prostatic hyperplasia, which did not resolve in response to castration, and an expansion of an intermediate cell population in a small subset of grafts. In human benign prostatic hyperplasia, luminal NFIB loss correlated with more severe disease. Finally, some areas of intermediate cell expansion were also associated with NFIB loss. Taken together, these results show a fundamental role for NFIB as a coregulator of AR action in the prostate and in controlling prostatic hyperplasia.
There is substantial heterogeneity among primary prostate cancers, evident in the spectrum of molecular abnormalities and its variable clinical course. As part of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), we present a comprehensive molecular analysis of 333 primary prostate carcinomas. Our results revealed a molecular taxonomy in which 74% of these tumors fell into one of seven subtypes defined by specific gene fusions (ERG, ETV1/4, and FLI1) or mutations (SPOP, FOXA1, and IDH1). Epigenetic profiles showed substantial heterogeneity, including an IDH1 mutant subset with a methylator phenotype. Androgen receptor (AR) activity varied widely and in a subtype-specific manner, with SPOP and FOXA1 mutant tumors having the highest levels of AR-induced transcripts. 25% of the prostate cancers had a presumed actionable lesion in the PI3K or MAPK signaling pathways, and DNA repair genes were inactivated in 19%. Our analysis reveals molecular heterogeneity among primary prostate cancers, as well as potentially actionable molecular defects.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Androgen receptor splicing variants (ARVs) that lack the ligand-binding domain (LBD) are associated with the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), including resistance to the new generation of high-affinity anti-androgens. However, the mechanism by which ARV expression is regulated is not fully understood. In this study, we show that the activation of classical nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signaling increases the expression of ARVs in prostate cancer (PCa) cells and converts androgen-sensitive PCa cells to become androgen-insensitive, whereas downregulation of NF-κB signaling inhibits ARV expression and restores responsiveness of CRPC to anti-androgen therapy. In addition, we demonstrated that combination of anti-androgen with NF-κB-targeted therapy inhibits efficiently tumor growth of human CRPC xenografts. These results indicate that induction of ARVs by activated NF-κB signaling in PCa cells is a critical mechanism by which the PCa progresses to CRPC. This has important implications as it can prolong the survival of CRPC patients by restoring the tumors to once again respond to conventional androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT).