Steroidogenic Enzyme AKR1C3 Is a Novel Androgen Receptor-Selective Coactivator that Promotes Prostate Cancer Growth
Clinical Cancer Research
Purpose: Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) may occur by several mechanisms including the upregulation of androgen receptor (AR), coactivators, and steroidogenic enzymes, including aldo keto reductase 1C3 (AKR1C3). AKR1C3 converts weaker 17-keto androgenic precursors to more potent 17hydroxy androgens and is consistently the major upregulated gene in CRPC. The studies in the manuscript were undertaken to examine the role of AKR1C3 in AR function and CRPC. Experimental Design: LNCaP
... s stably transfected with AKR1C3 and VCaP cells endogenously expressing AKR1C3 were used to understand the effect of AKR1C3 on prostate cancer cell and tumor growth in nude mice. Chromatin immunoprecipitation, confocal microscopy, and co-immunoprecipitation studies were used to understand the recruitment of AKR1C3, intracellular localization of AKR1C3 and its interaction with AR in cells, tumor xenograft, and in Gleason sum 7 CRPC tissues. Cells were transiently transfected for AR transactivation. Novel small-molecule AKR1C3-selective inhibitors were synthesized and characterized in androgen-dependent prostate cancer and CRPC models. Results: We identified unique AR-selective coactivator-and prostate cancer growth-promoting roles for AKR1C3. AKR1C3 overexpression promotes the growth of both androgen-dependent prostate cancer and CRPC xenografts, with concomitant reactivation of androgen signaling. AKR1C3 interacted with AR in prostate cancer cells, xenografts, and in human CRPC samples and was recruited to the promoter of an androgen-responsive gene. The coactivator and growth-promoting functions of AKR1C3 were inhibited by an AKR1C3-selective competitive inhibitor. Conclusions: AKR1C3 is a novel AR-selective enzymatic coactivator and may represent the first of more than 200 known nuclear hormone receptor coactivators that can be pharmacologically targeted. Clin Cancer Res; 19(20); 1-13. Ó2013 AACR.