Using androgen receptor (AR) knockout mice to determine AR functions in selective prostate cancer (PCa) cells, we determined that AR might play differential roles in various cell types, either to promote or suppress PCa development/progression. These observations partially explain the failure of current androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) to reduce/prevent androgen binding to AR in every cell. Herein, we identified the AR degradation enhancer ASC-J9, which selectively degrades AR protein via interruption of the AR-AR selective coregulator interaction. Such selective interruption could, therefore, suppress AR-mediated PCa growth in the androgen-sensitive stage before ADT and in the castration-resistant stage after ADT. Mechanistic dissection suggested that ASC-J9 could activate the proteasome-dependent pathway to promote AR degradation through the enhanced association of AR-Mdm2 complex. The consequences of ASC-J9-promoted AR degradation included reduced androgen binding to AR, AR N-C terminal interaction, and AR nuclear translocation. Such inhibitory regulation could then result in suppression of AR transactivation and AR-mediated cell growth in eight different mouse models, including intact or castrated nude mice xenografted with androgen-sensitive LNCaP cells or androgen-insensitive C81 cells and castrated nude mice xenografted with castration-resistant C4-2 and CWR22Rv1 cells, and TRAMP and Pten+/- mice. These results demonstrate that ASC-J9 could serve as an AR degradation enhancer that effectively suppresses PCa development/progression in the androgen-sensitive and castration-resistant stages.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine