During the evolution into castration or therapy resistance, prostate cancer cells reprogram the androgen responses to cope with the diminishing level of androgens, and undergo metabolic adaption to the nutritionally deprived and hypoxia conditions. AR (androgen receptor) and PKM2 (pyruvate kinase M2) have key roles in these processes. We report in this study, KDM8/JMJD5, a histone lysine demethylase/dioxygnase, exhibits a novel property as a dual coactivator of AR and PKM2 and as such, it is a potent inducer of castration and therapy resistance. Previously, we showed that KDM8 is involved in the regulation of cell cycle and tumor metabolism in breast cancer cells. Its role in prostate cancer has not been explored. Here, we show that KDM8’s oncogenic properties in prostate cancer come from its direct interaction (1) with AR to affect androgen response and (2) with PKM2 to regulate tumor metabolism. The interaction with AR leads to the elevated expression of androgen response genes in androgen-deprived conditions. They include ANCCA/ATAD2 and EZH2, which are directly targeted by KDM8 and involved in sustaining the survival of the cells under hormone-deprived conditions. Notably, in enzalutamide-resistant cells, the expressions of both KDM8 and EZH2 are further elevated, so are neuroendocrine markers. Consequently, EZH2 inhibitors or KDM8 knockdown both resensitize the cells toward enzalutamide. In the cytosol, KDM8 associates with PKM2, the gatekeeper of pyruvate flux and translocates PKM2 into the nucleus, where the KDM8/PKM2 complex serves as a coactivator of HIF-1α to upregulate glycolytic genes. Using shRNA knockdown, we validate KDM8’s functions as a regulator for both androgen-responsive and metabolic genes. KDM8 thus presents itself as an ideal therapeutic target for metabolic adaptation and castration-resistance of prostate cancer cells.
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research