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Proteostasis by STUB1/HSP70 complex controls sensitivity to androgen receptor targeted therapy in advanced prostate cancer.

  • Author(s): Liu, Chengfei;
  • Lou, Wei;
  • Yang, Joy C;
  • Liu, Liangren;
  • Armstrong, Cameron M;
  • Lombard, Alan P;
  • Zhao, Ruining;
  • Noel, Onika DV;
  • Tepper, Clifford G;
  • Chen, Hong-Wu;
  • Dall'Era, Marc;
  • Evans, Christopher P;
  • Gao, Allen C
  • et al.

Protein homeostasis (proteostasis) is a potential mechanism that contributes to cancer cell survival and drug resistance. Constitutively active androgen receptor (AR) variants confer anti-androgen resistance in advanced prostate cancer. However, the role of proteostasis involved in next generation anti-androgen resistance and the mechanisms of AR variant regulation are poorly defined. Here we show that the ubiquitin-proteasome-system (UPS) is suppressed in enzalutamide/abiraterone resistant prostate cancer. AR/AR-V7 proteostasis requires the interaction of E3 ubiquitin ligase STUB1 and HSP70 complex. STUB1 disassociates AR/AR-V7 from HSP70, leading to AR/AR-V7 ubiquitination and degradation. Inhibition of HSP70 significantly inhibits prostate tumor growth and improves enzalutamide/abiraterone treatments through AR/AR-V7 suppression. Clinically, HSP70 expression is upregulated and correlated with AR/AR-V7 levels in high Gleason score prostate tumors. Our results reveal a novel mechanism of anti-androgen resistance via UPS alteration which could be targeted through inhibition of HSP70 to reduce AR-V7 expression and overcome resistance to AR-targeted therapies.

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