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Sci Transl Med. 2018 May 2;10(439). pii: eaar2036. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aar2036.

Development of a stress response therapy targeting aggressive prostate cancer.

Author information

1
School of Medicine and Department of Urology, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), San Francisco, CA 94158, USA.
2
School of Medicine and Department of Urology, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), San Francisco, CA 94158, USA. crystal.conn@ucsf.edu davide.ruggero@ucsf.edu.
3
Division of Pediatric Allergy, Immunology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, UCSF, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA.
4
Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, UCSF, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA.
5
Department of Radiation Oncology, The Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
6
Department of Urology, University of California Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA.
7
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCSF, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA.
8
Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, UCSF, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA.
9
Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, UCSF, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA.

Abstract

Oncogenic lesions up-regulate bioenergetically demanding cellular processes, such as protein synthesis, to drive cancer cell growth and continued proliferation. However, the hijacking of these key processes by oncogenic pathways imposes onerous cell stress that must be mitigated by adaptive responses for cell survival. The mechanism by which these adaptive responses are established, their functional consequences for tumor development, and their implications for therapeutic interventions remain largely unknown. Using murine and humanized models of prostate cancer (PCa), we show that one of the three branches of the unfolded protein response is selectively activated in advanced PCa. This adaptive response activates the phosphorylation of the eukaryotic initiation factor 2-α (P-eIF2α) to reset global protein synthesis to a level that fosters aggressive tumor development and is a marker of poor patient survival upon the acquisition of multiple oncogenic lesions. Using patient-derived xenograft models and an inhibitor of P-eIF2α activity, ISRIB, our data show that targeting this adaptive brake for protein synthesis selectively triggers cytotoxicity against aggressive metastatic PCa, a disease for which presently there is no cure.

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