Persistent androgen receptor-mediated transcription in castration-resistant prostate cancer under androgen-deprived conditions

Keith F. Decker, Dali Zheng, Yuhong He, Tamara Bowman, John R. Edwards, Li Jia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


The androgen receptor (AR) is a ligand-inducible transcription factor that mediates androgen action in target tissues. Upon ligand binding, the AR binds to thousands of genomic loci and activates a cell-type specific gene program. Prostate cancer growth and progression depend on androgen-induced AR signaling. Treatment of advanced prostate cancer through medical or surgical castration leads to initial response and durable remission, but resistance inevitably develops. In castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), AR activity remains critical for tumor growth despite androgen deprivation. Although previous studies have focused on ligand-dependent AR signaling, in this study we explore AR function under the androgen-deprived conditions characteristic of CRPC. Our data demonstrate that AR persistently occupies a distinct set of genomic loci after androgen deprivation in CRPC. These androgen-independent AR occupied regions have constitutively open chromatin structures that lack the canonical androgen response element and are independent of FoxA1, a transcription factor involved in ligand-dependent AR targeting. Many AR binding events occur at proximal promoters, which can act as enhancers to augment transcriptional activities of other promoters through DNA looping. We further show that androgen-independent AR binding directs a gene expression program in CRPC, which is necessary for the growth of CRPC after androgen withdrawal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10765-10779
Number of pages15
JournalNucleic acids research
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 2012


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