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Obesity is a complex metabolic disease that is a serious detriment to both children and adult health, which induces a variety of diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, hypertension and cancer. Although adverse effects of obesity on female reproduction or oocyte development have been well recognized, its harmfulness to male fertility is still unclear because of reported conflicting results. The aim of this study was to determine whether diet-induced obesity impairs male fertility and furthermore to uncover its underlying mechanisms. Thus, male C57BL/6 mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 10 weeks served as a model of diet-induced obesity. The results clearly show that the percentage of sperm motility and progressive motility significantly decreased, whereas the proportion of teratozoospermia dramatically increased in HFD mice compared to those in normal diet fed controls. Besides, the sperm acrosome reaction fell accompanied by a decline in testosterone level and an increase in estradiol level in the HFD group. This alteration of sperm function parameters strongly indicated that the fertility of HFD mice was indeed impaired, which was also validated by a low pregnancy rate in their mated normal female. Moreover, testicular morphological analyses revealed that seminiferous epithelia were severely atrophic, and cell adhesions between spermatogenic cells and Sertoli cells were loosely arranged in HFD mice. Meanwhile, the integrity of the blood-testis barrier was severely interrupted consistent with declines in the tight junction related proteins, occludin, ZO-1 and androgen receptor, but instead endocytic vesicle-associated protein, clathrin rose. Taken together, obesity can impair male fertility through declines in the sperm function parameters, sex hormone level, whereas during spermatogenesis damage to the blood-testis barrier (BTB) integrity may be one of the crucial underlying factors accounting for this change.
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).
INTRODUCTION - Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogeneous collection of biologically diverse cancers, which contributes to variable clinical outcomes. Previously, we identified a TNBC subtype that has a luminal phenotype and expresses the androgen receptor (AR+). TNBC cells derived from these luminal AR + tumors have high frequency phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase catalytic subunit alpha (PIK3CA) mutations. The purpose of this study was to determine if targeting phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) alone or in combination with an AR antagonist is effective in AR + TNBC.
METHODS - We determined the frequency of activating PIK3CA mutations in AR + and AR- TNBC clinical cases. Using AR + TNBC cell line and xenograft models we evaluated the effectiveness of PI3K inhibitors, used alone or in combination with an AR antagonist, on tumor cell growth and viability.
RESULTS - PIK3CA kinase mutations were highly clonal, more frequent in AR + vs. AR- TNBC (40% vs. 4%), and often associated with concurrent amplification of the PIK3CA locus. PI3K/mTOR inhibitors had an additive growth inhibitory effect when combined with genetic or pharmacological AR targeting in AR + TNBC cells. We also analyzed the combination of bicalutamide +/- the pan-PI3K inhibitor GDC-0941 or the dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor GDC-0980 in xenograft tumor studies and observed additive effects.
CONCLUSIONS - While approximately one third of TNBC patients respond to neoadjuvant/adjuvant chemotherapy, recent studies have shown that patients with AR + TNBC are far less likely to benefit from the current standard of care chemotherapy regimens and novel targeted approaches need to be investigated. In this study, we show that activating PIK3CA mutations are enriched in AR + TNBC; and, we show that the growth and viability of AR + TNBC cell line models is significantly reduced after treatment with PI3K inhibitors used in combination with an AR antagonist. These results provide rationale for pre-selection of TNBC patients with a biomarker (AR expression) to investigate the use of AR antagonists in combination with PI3K/mTOR inhibitors.
The androgen receptor (AR) in stromal cells contributes significantly to the development and growth of prostate during fetal stages as well as during prostate carcinogenesis and cancer progression. During prostate development, stromal AR induces and promotes epithelial cell growth, as observed from tissue recombinant and mouse knockout studies. During prostate carcinogenesis and progression, the stromal cells begin to lose AR expression as early as at the stage of high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia. The extent of loss of stromal AR is directly proportional to the degree of differentiation (Gleason grade) and progression of prostate cancer (PCa). Co-culture studies suggested that stromal AR inhibits the growth of malignant epithelial cells, possibly through expression of certain paracrine factors in the presence of androgens. This functional reversal of stromal AR, from growth promotion during fetal prostate development to mediating certain growth-inhibiting effects in cancer, explains to some extent the reason that loss of AR expression in stromal cells may be crucial for development of resistance to androgen ablation therapy for PCa. From a translational perspective, it generates the need to re-examine the current therapeutic options and opens a fundamental new direction for therapeutic interventions, especially in advanced PCa.
Copyright © 2014 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Androgen receptor (AR) action throughout prostate development and in maintenance of the prostatic epithelium is partly controlled by interactions between AR and forkhead box (FOX) transcription factors, particularly FOXA1. We sought to identity additional FOXA1 binding partners that may mediate prostate-specific gene expression. Here we identify the nuclear factor I (NFI) family of transcription factors as novel FOXA1 binding proteins. All four family members (NFIA, NFIB, NFIC, and NFIX) can interact with FOXA1, and knockdown studies in androgen-dependent LNCaP cells determined that modulating expression of NFI family members results in changes in AR target gene expression. This effect is probably mediated by binding of NFI family members to AR target gene promoters, because chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) studies found that NFIB bound to the prostate-specific antigen enhancer. Förster resonance energy transfer studies revealed that FOXA1 is capable of bringing AR and NFIX into proximity, indicating that FOXA1 facilitates the AR and NFI interaction by bridging the complex. To determine the extent to which NFI family members regulate AR/FOXA1 target genes, motif analysis of publicly available data for ChIP followed by sequencing was undertaken. This analysis revealed that 34.4% of peaks bound by AR and FOXA1 contain NFI binding sites. Validation of 8 of these peaks by ChIP revealed that NFI family members can bind 6 of these predicted genomic elements, and 4 of the 8 associated genes undergo gene expression changes as a result of individual NFI knockdown. These observations suggest that NFI regulation of FOXA1/AR action is a frequent event, with individual family members playing distinct roles in AR target gene expression.
Despite androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), persistent androgen receptor (AR) signaling enables outgrowth of castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). In prostate cancer (PCa) cells, ADT may enhance AR activity through induction of oxidative stress. Herein, we investigated the roles of Nrf1 and Nrf2, transcription factors that regulate antioxidant gene expression, on hormone-mediated AR transactivation using a syngeneic in vitro model of androgen dependent (LNCaP) and castration resistant (C4-2B) PCa cells. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) stimulated transactivation of the androgen response element (ARE) was significantly greater in C4-2B cells than in LNCaP cells. DHT-induced AR transactivation was coupled with higher nuclear translocation of p65-Nrf1 in C4-2B cells, as compared to LNCaP cells. Conversely, DHT stimulation suppressed total Nrf2 levels in C4-2B cells but elevated total Nrf2 levels in LNCaP cells. Interestingly, siRNA mediated silencing of Nrf1 attenuated AR transactivation while p65-Nrf1 overexpression enhanced AR transactivation. Subsequent studies showed that Nrf1 physically interacts with AR and enhances AR's DNA-binding activity, suggesting that the p65-Nrf1 isoform is a potential AR coactivator. In contrast, Nrf2 suppressed AR-mediated transactivation by stimulating the nuclear accumulation of the p120-Nrf1 which suppressed AR transactivation. Quantitative RT-PCR studies further validated the inductive effects of p65-Nrf1 isoform on the androgen regulated genes, PSA and TMPRSS2. Therefore, our findings implicate differential roles of Nrf1 and Nrf2 in regulating AR transactivation in PCa cells. Our findings also indicate that the DHT-stimulated increase in p65-Nrf1 and the simultaneous suppression of both Nrf2 and p120-Nrf1 ultimately facilitates AR transactivation in CRPC cells.
BACKGROUND - The intervention of advanced prostate cancer (PCa) in patients has been commonly depending on androgen deprivation therapy. Despite of tremendous research efforts, however, molecular mechanisms on AR regulation remain poorly understood, particularly for castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Targeting AR and associated factors is considered an effective strategy in PCa treatment.
METHODS - Human prostate cancer cells were used in this study. Manipulations of Skp2 expression were achieved by Skp2 shRNA/siRNA or overexpression of plasmids. Dual luciferase reporter assay was applied for AR activity assessment. Western blot, ubiquitination assay, immunoprecipitation, and immunofluorescence were applied to detect the proteins.
RESULTS - Our results demonstrated that Skp2 directly involves the regulation of AR expression through ubiquitination-mediated degradation. Skp2 interacted with AR protein in PCa cells, and enforced expression of Skp2 resulted in a decreased level and activity of AR. By contrast, Skp2 knockdown increased the protein accumulation and activity of AR. Importantly, changes of AR contributed by Skp2 led to subsequent alterations of PSA level in PCa cells. AR ubiquitination was significantly increased upon Skp2 overexpression but greatly reduced upon Skp2 knockdown. AR mutant at K847R abrogated Skp2-mediated ubiquitination of AR. NVP-BEZ235, a dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor, remarkably inhibited Skp2 level with a striking elevation of AR.
CONCLUSIONS - The results indicate that Skp2 is an E3 ligase for proteasome-dependent AR degradation, and K847 on AR is the recognition site for Skp2-mediated ubiquitination. Our findings reveal an essential role of Skp2 in AR signaling.
© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Limitations on the number of unique protein and DNA molecules that can be characterized microscopically in a single tissue specimen impede advances in understanding the biological basis of health and disease. Here we present a multiplexed fluorescence microscopy method (MxIF) for quantitative, single-cell, and subcellular characterization of multiple analytes in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue. Chemical inactivation of fluorescent dyes after each image acquisition round allows reuse of common dyes in iterative staining and imaging cycles. The mild inactivation chemistry is compatible with total and phosphoprotein detection, as well as DNA FISH. Accurate computational registration of sequential images is achieved by aligning nuclear counterstain-derived fiducial points. Individual cells, plasma membrane, cytoplasm, nucleus, tumor, and stromal regions are segmented to achieve cellular and subcellular quantification of multiplexed targets. In a comparison of pathologist scoring of diaminobenzidine staining of serial sections and automated MxIF scoring of a single section, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, estrogen receptor, p53, and androgen receptor staining by diaminobenzidine and MxIF methods yielded similar results. Single-cell staining patterns of 61 protein antigens by MxIF in 747 colorectal cancer subjects reveals extensive tumor heterogeneity, and cluster analysis of divergent signaling through ERK1/2, S6 kinase 1, and 4E binding protein 1 provides insights into the spatial organization of mechanistic target of rapamycin and MAPK signal transduction. Our results suggest MxIF should be broadly applicable to problems in the fields of basic biological research, drug discovery and development, and clinical diagnostics.
BACKGROUND - Primary culture and animal and cell-line models of prostate and bladder development have limitations in describing human biology, and novel strategies that describe the full spectrum of differentiation from foetal through to ageing tissue are required. Recent advances in biology demonstrate that direct reprogramming of somatic cells into pluripotent embryonic stem cell (ESC)-like cells is possible. These cells, termed induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), could theoretically generate adult prostate and bladder tissue, providing an alternative strategy to study differentiation.
OBJECTIVE - To generate human iPSCs derived from normal, ageing, human prostate (Pro-iPSC), and urinary tract (UT-iPSC) tissue and to assess their capacity for lineage-directed differentiation.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS - Prostate and urinary tract stroma were transduced with POU class 5 homeobox 1 (POU5F1; formerly OCT4), SRY (sex determining region Y)-box 2 (SOX2), Kruppel-like factor 4 (gut) (KLF4), and v-myc myelocytomatosis viral oncogene homolog (avian) (MYC, formerly C-MYC) genes to generate iPSCs.
OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS - The potential for differentiation into prostate and bladder lineages was compared with classical skin-derived iPSCs. The student t test was used.
RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS - Successful reprogramming of prostate tissue into Pro-iPSCs and bladder and ureter into UT-iPSCs was demonstrated by characteristic ESC morphology, marker expression, and functional pluripotency in generating all three germ-layer lineages. In contrast to conventional skin-derived iPSCs, Pro-iPSCs showed a vastly increased ability to generate prostate epithelial-specific differentiation, as characterised by androgen receptor and prostate-specific antigen induction. Similarly, UT-iPSCs were shown to be more efficient than skin-derived iPSCs in undergoing bladder differentiation as demonstrated by expression of urothelial-specific markers: uroplakins, claudins, and cytokeratin; and stromal smooth muscle markers: α-smooth-muscle actin, calponin, and desmin. These disparities are likely to represent epigenetic differences between individual iPSC lines and highlight the importance of organ-specific iPSCs for tissue-specific studies.
CONCLUSIONS - IPSCs provide an exciting new model to characterise mechanisms regulating prostate and bladder differentiation and to develop novel approaches to disease modelling. Regeneration of bladder cells also provides an exceptional opportunity for translational tissue engineering.
Copyright © 2013 European Association of Urology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE - Patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and residual disease after neoadjuvant chemotherapy generally have worse outcome; however, some patients with residual tumor after neoadjuvant chemotherapy do not relapse. We hypothesize that there are subgroups of patients with chemoresistant TNBC with different prognosis.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN - Forty-nine chemoresistant cases from 111 patients with TNBC treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX) constituted the discovery cohort, and 25 chemoresistant samples from 47 neoadjuvant chemotherapy-treated TNBC (The Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX) were chosen for validation. Extended validation was carried out in 269 operable TNBC predicted to be chemoresistant by expression pattern from published datasets.
RESULTS - We established a seven-gene prognostic signature using dChip and gene set enrichment analyses. In the independent validation cohort, the classifier predicted correctly with positive predictive value of 75.0% and negative predictive value (i.e., relapse-free survival; RFS) of 76.9% at 3 years. Those predicted to relapse had a HR of 4.67 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.27-17.15] for relapse in 3 years. In extended validation, patients predicted not to relapse exhibited 3-year RFS of 78.9%, whereas the 3-year RFS was 48.5% for patients predicted to relapse, with HR of 2.61 (95% CI: 1.52-4.49). The TNBC subgroup that predicted to have relatively favorable prognosis was characterized by high expression of "luminal-like" genes [androgen-receptor (AR) and GATA3], whereas the subgroup with worse prognosis was characterized by expression of cancer stem-cell markers.
CONCLUSION - We developed a clinically relevant signature for patients with chemoresistant TNBC. For these women, new therapeutic strategies like targeting AR activation or cancer stem cells may need to be developed.