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J Biol Chem. 2014 Jul 25;289(30):20824-35.

Hydrogen sulfide represses androgen receptor transactivation by targeting at the second zinc finger module.


Androgen receptor (AR) signaling is indispensable for the development of prostate cancer from the initial androgen-dependent state to a later aggressive androgen-resistant state. This study examined the role of hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S), a novel gasotransmitter, in the regulation of AR signaling as well as its mediation in androgen-independent cell growth in prostate cancer cells. Here we found that H(2)S inhibits cell proliferation of both androgen-dependent (LNCaP) and antiandrogen-resistant prostate cancer cells (LNCaP-B), with more significance on the latter, which was established by long term treatment of parental LNCaP cells with bicalutamide. The expression of cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE), a major H(2)S producing enzyme in prostate tissue, was reduced in both human prostate cancer tissues and LNCaP-B cells. LNCaP-B cells were resistant to bicalutamide-induced cell growth inhibition, and CSE overexpression could rebuild the sensitivity of LNCaP-B cells to bicalutamide. H(2)S significantly repressed the expression of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and TMPRSS2, two AR-targeted genes. In addition, H(2)S inhibited AR binding with PSA promoter and androgen-responsive element (ARE) luciferase activity. We further found that AR is post-translationally modified by H(2)S through S-sulfhydration. Mutation of cysteine 611 and cysteine 614 in the second zinc finger module of AR-DNA binding domain diminished the effects of H(2)S on AR S-sulfhydration and AR dimerization. These data suggest that reduced CSE/H2S signaling contributes to antiandrogen-resistant status, and sufficient level of H(2)S is able to inhibit AR transactivation and treat castration-resistant prostate cancer.

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