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Noncoding mutations target cis-regulatory elements of the FOXA1 plexus in prostate cancer.

Abstract

Prostate cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed malignancy among men worldwide. Recurrently mutated in primary and metastatic prostate tumors, FOXA1 encodes a pioneer transcription factor involved in disease onset and progression through both androgen receptor-dependent and androgen receptor-independent mechanisms. Despite its oncogenic properties however, the regulation of FOXA1 expression remains unknown. Here, we identify a set of six cis-regulatory elements in the FOXA1 regulatory plexus harboring somatic single-nucleotide variants in primary prostate tumors. We find that deletion and repression of these cis-regulatory elements significantly decreases FOXA1 expression and prostate cancer cell growth. Six of the ten single-nucleotide variants mapping to FOXA1 regulatory plexus significantly alter the transactivation potential of cis-regulatory elements by modulating the binding of transcription factors. Collectively, our results identify cis-regulatory elements within the FOXA1 plexus mutated in primary prostate tumors as potential targets for therapeutic intervention.

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