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Prostate. 2014 Apr;74(4):421-32. doi: 10.1002/pros.22763. Epub 2013 Dec 17.

Skp2 regulates androgen receptor through ubiquitin-mediated degradation independent of Akt/mTOR pathways in prostate cancer.

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Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee.



The intervention of advanced prostate cancer (PCa) in patients has been commonly depending on androgen deprivation therapy. Despite of tremendous research efforts, however, molecular mechanisms on AR regulation remain poorly understood, particularly for castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Targeting AR and associated factors is considered an effective strategy in PCa treatment.


Human prostate cancer cells were used in this study. Manipulations of Skp2 expression were achieved by Skp2 shRNA/siRNA or overexpression of plasmids. Dual luciferase reporter assay was applied for AR activity assessment. Western blot, ubiquitination assay, immunoprecipitation, and immunofluorescence were applied to detect the proteins.


Our results demonstrated that Skp2 directly involves the regulation of AR expression through ubiquitination-mediated degradation. Skp2 interacted with AR protein in PCa cells, and enforced expression of Skp2 resulted in a decreased level and activity of AR. By contrast, Skp2 knockdown increased the protein accumulation and activity of AR. Importantly, changes of AR contributed by Skp2 led to subsequent alterations of PSA level in PCa cells. AR ubiquitination was significantly increased upon Skp2 overexpression but greatly reduced upon Skp2 knockdown. AR mutant at K847R abrogated Skp2-mediated ubiquitination of AR. NVP-BEZ235, a dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor, remarkably inhibited Skp2 level with a striking elevation of AR.


The results indicate that Skp2 is an E3 ligase for proteasome-dependent AR degradation, and K847 on AR is the recognition site for Skp2-mediated ubiquitination. Our findings reveal an essential role of Skp2 in AR signaling.


Skp2; androgen receptor (AR); prostate cancer (PCa); ubiquitination

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