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Asian J Androl. 2019 May-Jun;21(3):215-223. doi: 10.4103/aja.aja_19_19.

Transcriptional repression by androgen receptor: roles in castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Author information

1
Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.
2
Med-X Research Institute and School of Biomedical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200030, China.
3
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.
4
Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.

Abstract

Androgen receptor (AR), a hormonal transcription factor, plays important roles during prostate cancer progression and is a key target for therapeutic interventions. While androgen-deprivation therapies are initially successful in regressing prostate tumors, the disease ultimately comes back as castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) or at the late stage as neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC). CRPC remains largely dependent on hyperactive AR signaling in the milieu of low androgen, while NEPC is negative of AR expression but positive of many AR-repressed genes. Recent technological advances in genome-wide analysis of transcription factor binding sites have revealed an unprecedented set of AR target genes. In addition to its well-known function in activating gene expression, AR is increasingly known to also act as a transcriptional repressor. Here, we review the molecular mechanisms by which AR represses gene expression. We also summarize AR-repressed genes that are aberrantly upregulated in CRPC and NEPC and represent promising targets for therapeutic intervention.

KEYWORDS:

CRPC; EZH2; NEPC; androgen receptor; histone modifications; targeted therapy; transcriptional repressor

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