Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.476, No.2, 69-74, 2016
Restoration of the cellular secretory milieu overrides androgen dependence of in vivo generated castration resistant prostate cancer cells overexpressing the androgen receptor
It is believed that growth of castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) cells is enabled by sensitization to minimal residual post-castrate androgen due to overexpression of the androgen receptor (AR). Evidence is derived from androgen-induced colony formation in the absence of cell-secreted factors or from studies involving forced AR overexpression in hormone-dependent cells. On the other hand, standard cell line models established from CRPC patient tumors (e.g., LNCaP and VCaP) are hormone-dependent and require selection pressure in castrated mice to re-emerge as CRPC cells and the resulting tumors then tend to be insensitive to the androgen antagonist enzalutamide. Therefore, we examined established CRPC model cells produced by castration of mice bearing hormone-dependent cell line xenografts including CRPC cells overexpressing full-length AR (C4-2) or co-expressing wtAR and splice-variant AR-V7 that is incapable of ligand binding (22Rv1). In standard colony formation assays, C4-2 cells were shown to be androgen-dependent and sensitive to enzalutamide whereas 22Rv1 cells were incapable of colony formation under identical conditions. However, both C4-2 and 22Rv1 cells formed colonies in conditioned media derived from the same cells or from HEK293 fibroblasts that were proven to lack androgenic activity. This effect was (i) not enhanced by androgen, (ii) insensitive to enzalutamide, (iii) dependent on AR (in C4-2) and on AR-V7 and wtAR (in 22Rv1) and (iv) sensitive to inhibitors of several signaling pathways, similar to androgen-stimulation. Therefore, during progression to CRPC in vivo, coordinate cellular changes accompanying overexpression of AR may enable cooperation between hormone-independent activity of AR and actions of cellular secretory factors to completely override androgen-dependence and sensitivity to drugs targeting hormonal factors. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.