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Androgen deprivation causes truncation of the C-terminal region of androgen receptor in human prostate cancer LNCaP cells


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E-mail: harada@biochem.osakafu-u.ac.jp


The androgen receptor (AR) acts as a ligand-dependent transcription factor, whereas mutant AR lacking the C-terminal ligand-binding domain functions in a ligand-independent manner. In the present study we report that the C-terminal truncated AR, which we named AR-NH1 (the N-terminal fragment of AR cleaved in the neighborhood of helix 1 of the ligand-binding domain), is produced in LNCaP prostatic carcinoma cells. The AR-NH1 of ~90 kDa was observed in an androgen-independent LNCaP subline and was further accumulated by the proteasome inhibitor MG132. MG132 treatment caused the accumulation of AR-NH1 even in parent LNCaP cells. AR-NH1 was produced in the absence of ligand or in the presence of the AR antagonist bicalutamide, whereas AR agonists suppressed its production. AR-NH1 was detected with different AR antibodies recognizing amino acid residues 1–20 and 300–316 and was also generated from exogenous AR. Both siRNA-mediated AR knockdown and treatment with a serine protease inhibitor (4-(2-aminoethyl)-benzenesulfonyl fluoride) reduced AR-NH1 levels. According to the predicted cleavage site (between amino acid residues 660–685) and its nuclear localization, it is assumed that AR-NH1 functions as a constitutively active transcription factor. These data suggest that AR-NH1 is produced under hormone therapy and contributes to the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer due to its ligand-independent transcriptional activity. (Cancer Sci 2012; 103: 1022–1027)