Supraphysiological Androgens Promote the Tumor Suppressive Activity of the Androgen Receptor Through cMYC Repression and Recruitment of the DREAM Complex

Nyquist M. et al.

The androgen receptor (AR) pathway regulates key cell survival programs in prostate epithelium. The AR represents a near-universal driver and therapeutic vulnerability in metastatic prostate cancer, and targeting AR has a remarkable therapeutic index. Though most approaches directed toward AR focus on inhibiting AR signaling, laboratory and now clinical data have shown that high dose, supraphysiological androgen treatment (SPA) results in growth repression and improved outcomes in subsets of prostate cancer patients. A better understanding of the mechanisms contributing to SPA response and resistance could help guide patient selection and combination therapies to improve efficacy. To characterize SPA signaling, we integrated metrics of gene expression changes induced by SPA together with cistrome data and protein-interactomes. These analyses indicated that the Dimerization partner, RB-like, E2F and Multi-vulval class B (DREAM) complex mediates growth repression and downregulation of E2F targets in response to SPA. Notably, prostate cancers with complete genomic loss of RB1 responded to SPA treatment whereas loss of DREAM complex components such as RBL1/2 promoted resistance. Overexpression of MYC resulted in complete resistance to SPA and attenuated the SPA/AR-mediated repression of E2F target genes. These findings support a model of SPA-mediated growth repression that relies on the negative regulation of MYC by AR leading to repression of E2F1 signaling via the DREAM complex. The integrity of MYC signaling and DREAM complex assembly may consequently serve as determinants of SPA responses and as pathways mediating SPA resistance.

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June, 2023


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