Wang et al. report key roles for mitochondria in regulating the maturation of muscle fibers during tissue regeneration. The cover image shows a cross-section of regenerating murine muscle, in which mature myofibers are identified by immunofluorescent stains against adult myosin heavy chain proteins.
Reshma Jagsi, T. DeLene Beeland, Kevin Sia, Lauren A. Szczygiel, Matthew R. Allen, Vineet M. Arora, Megan Bair-Merritt, Melissa D. Bauman, Hillary R. Bogner, Gail Daumit, Esa Davis, Angela Fagerlin, Daniel E. Ford, Rasheed Gbadegesin, Kathy Griendling, Katherine Hartmann, S. Susan Hedayati, Rebecca D. Jackson, Susan Matulevicius, Michael J. Mugavero, Eric J. Nehl, Tuhina Neogi, Judith G. Regensteiner, Michael A. Rubin, Doris Rubio, Kanakadurga Singer, Brownsyne Tucker Edmonds, Anna Volerman, Sandra Laney, Carrie Patton, Sindy Escobar Alvarez
Understanding the cellular mechanisms underlying chronic kidney disease (CKD) progression is required to develop effective therapeutic approaches. In this issue of the JCI, Taguchi, Elias, et al. explore the relationship between cyclin G1 (CG1), an atypical cyclin that induces G2/M proximal tubule cell cycle arrest, and epithelial dedifferentiation during fibrogenesis. While CG1-knockout mice were protected from fibrosis and had reduced G2/M arrest, protection was unexpectedly independent of induction of G2/M arrest. Rather, CG1 drove fibrosis by regulating maladaptive dedifferentiation in a CDK5-dependent mechanism. These findings highlight the importance of maladaptive epithelial dedifferentiation in kidney fibrogenesis and identify CG1/CDK5 signaling as a therapeutic target in CKD progression.
Benjamin D. Humphreys
Muscle fibers express particular isoforms of contractile proteins, depending on the fiber’s function and the organism’s developmental stage. In the adult, after a muscle injury, newly generated fibers transition through embryonic and neonatal myosins, prior to selecting their distinctive adult myosin isoform. In this issue of the JCI, Wang et al. discover a checkpoint that regulates the neonatal-to-adult myosin isoform transition. They found that HIF-1α regulated this checkpoint, with elevated HIF-1α levels blocking progression, while HIF-1α knockout accelerated the transition. They further related these findings to centronuclear myopathy, a disease in which HIF-1α is similarly elevated and neonatal myosin expression is maintained. These findings highlight a maturation checkpoint that impacts the skeletal muscle regeneration following ischemic injury, providing a pharmacologically accessible pathway in injury and diseases such as centronuclear myopathy.
Rahagir Salekeen, Michael Kyba
Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is the longstanding treatment for advanced prostate cancer (PC) because androgen receptor (AR) is the key therapeutic vulnerability for this disease. Bipolar androgen therapy (BAT) — the rapid cycling of supraphysiologic androgen (SPA) and low serum testosterone levels — is an alternative concept, but not all patients respond and acquired resistance can occur. In this issue of the JCI, Sena et al. developed a gene signature indicative of high AR activity to predict patient response to BAT, including a decline in both serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and tumor volume. Preclinical models showed that AR-mediated suppression of MYC, known to drive PC, was associated with decreased cell growth following SPA treatment. Because BAT eventually leads to resistance, the authors tested cycling between SPA and AR antagonism in a patient-derived xenograft and observed a delay in tumor growth. These findings represent a major step toward the informed use of BAT for advanced PC.
Nahuel Peinetti, Marijo Bilusic, Kerry L. Burnstein
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) hinder antitumor immunity in multiple cancer types. While brequinar (BRQ), an inhibitor of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, shows cytotoxicity in hematological malignancy, it has not yet been adapted to attenuate MDSCs by augmenting bone marrow progenitors in breast cancer. In this issue of the JCI, Colligan et al. demonstrate that BRQ restored terminal differentiation of MDSCs. Using in vivo models of immunotherapy-resistant breast cancer, the authors uncovered a mechanism by which BRQ promoted myeloid cell differentiation by limiting their suppressive function and enhancing the efficacy of immune checkpoint blockade therapy. The findings offer insight into the biogenesis of MDSCs, provide an alternative avenue for cancers that remain unresponsive to conventional therapies, and may be extended to future translational studies in patients.
Natalie K. Horvat, Gregory B. Lesinski
Susanne L. Linderman, Lilin Lai, Estefany L. Bocangel Gamarra, Max S.Y. Lau, Srilatha Edupuganti, Diya Surie, Mark W. Tenforde, James D. Chappell, Nicholas M. Mohr, Kevin W. Gibbs, Jay S. Steingrub, Matthew C. Exline, Nathan I. Shapiro, Anne E. Frosch, Nida Qadir, Meredith E. Davis-Gardner, M. Juliana McElrath, Adam S. Lauring, Mehul S. Suthar, Manish M. Patel, Wesley H. Self, Rafi Ahmed
The various functions of the skeleton are influenced by extracellular cues, hormones, and neurotransmitters. One type of neuronal regulation favors bone mass accrual by inhibiting sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity. This observation raises questions about the transcriptional mechanisms regulating catecholamine synthesis. Using a combination of genetic and pharmacological studies, we found that the histone deacetylase sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) is a transcriptional modulator of the neuronal control of bone mass. Neuronal SIRT1 reduced bone mass by increasing SNS signaling. SIRT1 did so by increasing expression of monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A), a SIRT1 target that reduces brain serotonin levels by inducing its catabolism and by suppressing tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (Tph2) expression and serotonin synthesis in the brain stem. SIRT1 upregulated brain catecholamine synthesis indirectly through serotonin, but did not directly affect dopamine β hydroxylase (Dbh) expression in the locus coeruleus. These results help us to understand skeletal changes associated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and may have implications for treating skeletal and metabolic diseases.
Na Luo, Ioanna Mosialou, Mattia Capulli, Brygida Bisikirska, Chyuan-Sheng Lin, Yung-yu Huang, Peter T. Shyu, X. Edward Guo, Aris Economides, J. John Mann, Stavroula Kousteni
Platelets and megakaryocytes are critical players in immune responses. Recent reports suggest infection and inflammation alter the megakaryocyte and platelet transcriptome to induce altered platelet reactivity. We determined whether nonviral sepsis induces differential platelet gene expression and reactivity. Nonviral sepsis upregulated IFN-induced transmembrane protein 3 (IFITM3), an IFN-responsive gene that restricts viral replication. As IFITM3 has been linked to clathrin-mediated endocytosis, we determined whether IFITM3 promoted endocytosis of α-granule proteins. IFN stimulation enhanced fibrinogen endocytosis in megakaryocytes and platelets from Ifitm+/+ mice, but not Ifitm–/– mice. IFITM3 overexpression or deletion in megakaryocytes demonstrated IFITM3 was necessary and sufficient to regulate fibrinogen endocytosis. Mechanistically, IFITM3 interacted with clathrin and αIIb and altered their plasma membrane localization into lipid rafts. In vivo IFN administration increased fibrinogen endocytosis, platelet reactivity, and thrombosis in an IFITM-dependent manner. In contrast, Ifitm–/– mice were completely rescued from IFN-induced platelet hyperreactivity and thrombosis. During murine sepsis, platelets from Ifitm+/+ mice demonstrated increased fibrinogen content and platelet reactivity, which was dependent on IFN-α and IFITMs. Platelets from patients with nonviral sepsis had increases in platelet IFITM3 expression, fibrinogen content, and hyperreactivity. These data identify IFITM3 as a regulator of platelet endocytosis, hyperreactivity, and thrombosis during inflammatory stress.
Robert A. Campbell, Bhanu Kanth Manne, Meenakshi Banerjee, Elizabeth A. Middleton, Abigail Ajanel, Hansjorg Schwertz, Frederik Denorme, Chris Stubben, Emilie Montenont, Samantha Saperstein, Lauren Page, Neal D. Tolley, Diana L. Lim, Samuel M. Brown, Colin K. Grissom, Douglas W. Sborov, Anandi Krishnan, Matthew T. Rondina
Neuropathic pain is one of the most important clinical consequences of injury to the somatosensory system. Nevertheless, the critical pathophysiological mechanisms involved in neuropathic pain development are poorly understood. In this study, we found that neuropathic pain is abrogated when the kynurenine metabolic pathway (KYNPATH) initiated by the enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) is ablated pharmacologically or genetically. Mechanistically, it was found that IDO1-expressing dendritic cells (DCs) accumulated in the dorsal root leptomeninges and led to an increase in kynurenine levels in the spinal cord. In the spinal cord, kynurenine was metabolized by kynurenine-3-monooxygenase–expressing astrocytes into the pronociceptive metabolite 3-hydroxykynurenine. Ultimately, 3-hydroxyanthranilate 3,4-dioxygenase–derived quinolinic acid formed in the final step of the canonical KYNPATH was also involved in neuropathic pain development through the activation of the glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor. In conclusion, these data revealed a role for DCs driving neuropathic pain development through elevation of the KYNPATH. This paradigm offers potential new targets for drug development against this type of chronic pain.
Alexandre G. Maganin, Guilherme R. Souza, Miriam D. Fonseca, Alexandre H. Lopes, Rafaela M. Guimarães, André Dagostin, Nerry T. Cecilio, Atlante S. Mendes, William A. Gonçalves, Conceição E.A. Silva, Francisco Isaac Fernandes Gomes, Lucas M. Mauriz Marques, Rangel L. Silva, Letícia M. Arruda, Denis A. Santana, Henrique Lemos, Lei Huang, Marcela Davoli-Ferreira, Danielle Santana-Coelho, Morena B. Sant’Anna, Ricardo Kusuda, Jhimmy Talbot, Gabriela Pacholczyk, Gabriela A. Buqui, Norberto P. Lopes, Jose C. Alves-Filho, Ricardo M. Leão, Jason C. O’Connor, Fernando Q. Cunha, Andrew Mellor, Thiago M. Cunha
Multiple genetic loci have been reported for progeroid syndromes. However, the molecular defects in some extremely rare forms of progeria have yet to be elucidated. Here, we report a 21-year-old man of Chinese ancestry who has an autosomal recessive form of progeria, characterized by severe dwarfism, mandibular hypoplasia, hyperopia, and partial lipodystrophy. Analyses of exome sequencing data from the entire family revealed only 1 rare homozygous missense variant (c.86C>T; p.Pro29Leu) in TOMM7 in the proband, while the parents and 2 unaffected siblings were heterozygous for the variant. TOMM7, a nuclear gene, encodes a translocase in the outer mitochondrial membrane. The TOMM complex makes up the outer membrane pore, which is responsible for importing many preproteins into the mitochondria. A proteomic comparison of mitochondria from control and proband-derived cultured fibroblasts revealed an increase in abundance of several proteins involved in oxidative phosphorylation, as well as a reduction in abundance of proteins involved in phospholipid metabolism. We also observed elevated basal and maximal oxygen consumption rates in the fibroblasts from the proband as compared with control fibroblasts. We concluded that altered mitochondrial protein import due to biallelic loss-of-function TOMM7 can cause severe growth retardation and progeroid features.
Abhimanyu Garg, Wee-Teik Keng, Zhenkang Chen, Adwait Amod Sathe, Chao Xing, Pavithira Devi Kailasam, Yanqiu Shao, Nicholas P. Lesner, Claire B. Llamas, Anil K. Agarwal, Prashant Mishra
Glaucoma is a highly heritable disease that is a leading cause of blindness worldwide. Here, we identified heterozygous thrombospondin 1 (THBS1) missense alleles altering p.Arg1034, a highly evolutionarily conserved amino acid, in 3 unrelated and ethnically diverse families affected by congenital glaucoma, a severe form of glaucoma affecting children. Thbs1R1034C-mutant mice had elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), reduced ocular fluid outflow, and retinal ganglion cell loss. Histology revealed an abundant, abnormal extracellular accumulation of THBS1 with abnormal morphology of juxtacanalicular trabecular meshwork (TM), an ocular tissue critical for aqueous fluid outflow. Functional characterization showed that the THBS1 missense alleles found in affected individuals destabilized the THBS1 C-terminus, causing protein misfolding and extracellular aggregation. Analysis using a range of amino acid substitutions at position R1034 showed that the extent of aggregation was correlated with the change in protein-folding free energy caused by variations in amino acid structure. Extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, especially fibronectin, which bind to THBS1, also accumulated within THBS1 deposits. These results show that missense variants altering THBS1 p.Arg1034 can cause elevated IOP through a mechanism involving impaired TM fluid outflow in association with accumulation of aggregated THBS1 in the ECM of juxtacanalicular meshwork with altered morphology.
Haojie Fu, Owen M. Siggs, Lachlan S.W. Knight, Sandra E. Staffieri, Jonathan B. Ruddle, Amy E. Birsner, Edward Ryan Collantes, Jamie E. Craig, Janey L. Wiggs, Robert J. D’Amato
Acute kidney injury (AKI) occurs in approximately 13% of hospitalized patients and predisposes patients to chronic kidney disease (CKD) through the AKI-to-CKD transition. Studies from our laboratory and others have demonstrated that maladaptive repair of proximal tubule cells (PTCs), including induction of dedifferentiation, G2/M cell cycle arrest, senescence, and profibrotic cytokine secretion, is a key process promoting AKI-to-CKD transition, kidney fibrosis, and CKD progression. The molecular mechanisms governing maladaptive repair and the relative contribution of dedifferentiation, G2/M arrest, and senescence to CKD remain to be resolved. We identified cyclin G1 (CG1) as a factor upregulated in chronically injured and maladaptively repaired PTCs. We demonstrated that global deletion of CG1 inhibits G2/M arrest and fibrosis. Pharmacological induction of G2/M arrest in CG1-knockout mice, however, did not fully reverse the antifibrotic phenotype. Knockout of CG1 did not alter dedifferentiation and proliferation in the adaptive repair response following AKI. Instead, CG1 specifically promoted the prolonged dedifferentiation of kidney tubule epithelial cells observed in CKD. Mechanistically, CG1 promotes dedifferentiation through activation of cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (CDK5). Deletion of CDK5 in kidney tubule cells did not prevent G2/M arrest but did inhibit dedifferentiation and fibrosis. Thus, CG1 and CDK5 represent a unique pathway that regulates maladaptive, but not adaptive, dedifferentiation, suggesting they could be therapeutic targets for CKD.
Kensei Taguchi, Bertha C. Elias, Sho Sugahara, Snehal Sant, Benjamin S. Freedman, Sushrut S. Waikar, Ambra Pozzi, Roy Zent, Raymond C. Harris, Samir M. Parikh, Craig R. Brooks
While immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have transformed the therapeutic landscape in oncology, they are effective in select subsets of patients. Efficacy may be limited by tumor-driven immune suppression, of which 1 key mechanism is the development of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). A fundamental gap in MDSC therapeutics is the lack of approaches that target MDSC biogenesis. We hypothesized that targeting MDSC biogenesis would mitigate MDSC burden and bolster tumor responses to ICIs. We tested a class of agents, dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) inhibitors, that have been previously shown to restore the terminal differentiation of leukemic myeloid progenitors. DHODH inhibitors have demonstrated preclinical safety and are under clinical study for hematologic malignancies. Using mouse models of mammary cancer that elicit robust MDSC responses, we demonstrated that the DHODH inhibitor brequinar (a) suppressed MDSC production from early-stage myeloid progenitors, which was accompanied by enhanced myeloid maturation; (b) augmented the antitumor and antimetastatic activities of programmed cell death 1–based (PD-1–based) ICI therapy in ICI-resistant mammary cancer models; and (c) acted in concert with PD-1 blockade through modulation of MDSC and CD8+ T cell responses. Moreover, brequinar facilitated myeloid maturation and inhibited immune-suppressive features in human bone marrow culture systems. These findings advance the concept of MDSC differentiation therapy in immuno-oncology.
Sean H. Colligan, Andrea M. Amitrano, Robert A. Zollo, Jennifer Peresie, Elliot D. Kramer, Brian Morreale, Joseph Barbi, Prashant K. Singh, Han Yu, Jianmin Wang, Mateusz Opyrchal, David B. Sykes, Michael J. Nemeth, Scott I. Abrams
Axon loss contributes to many common neurodegenerative disorders. In healthy axons, the axon survival factor NMNAT2 inhibits SARM1, the central executioner of programmed axon degeneration. We identified 2 rare NMNAT2 missense variants in 2 brothers afflicted with a progressive neuropathy syndrome. The polymorphisms resulted in amino acid substitutions V98M and R232Q, which reduced NMNAT2 NAD+-synthetase activity. We generated a mouse model to mirror the human syndrome and found that Nmnat2V98M/R232Q compound-heterozygous CRISPR mice survived to adulthood but developed progressive motor dysfunction, peripheral axon loss, and macrophage infiltration. These disease phenotypes were all SARM1-dependent. Remarkably, macrophage depletion therapy blocked and reversed neuropathic phenotypes in Nmnat2V98M/R232Q mice, identifying a SARM1-dependent neuroimmune mechanism as a key driver of disease pathogenesis. These findings demonstrate that SARM1 induced inflammatory neuropathy and highlight the potential of immune therapy as a treatment for this rare syndrome and other neurodegenerative conditions associated with NMNAT2 loss and SARM1 activation.
Caitlin B. Dingwall, Amy Strickland, Sabrina W. Yum, Aldrin K.Y. Yim, Jian Zhu, Peter L. Wang, Yurie Yamada, Robert E. Schmidt, Yo Sasaki, A. Joseph Bloom, Aaron DiAntonio, Jeffrey Milbrandt
Background Antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody–associated (ANCA-associated) vasculitidies (AAV) are life-threatening systemic autoimmune conditions. ANCAs directed against proteinase 3 (PR3) or myeloperoxidase (MPO) bind their cell surface-presented antigen, activate neutrophils, and cause vasculitis. An imbalance between PR3 and its major inhibitor α1-antitrypsin (AAT) was proposed to underlie PR3- but not MPO-AAV. We measured AAT and PR3 in healthy individuals and patients with AAV and studied protective AAT effects pertaining to PR3- and MPO-ANCA.Methods Plasma and blood neutrophils were assessed for PR3 and AAT. WT, mutant, and oxidation-resistant AAT species were produced to characterize AAT-PR3 interactions by flow cytometry, immunoblotting, fluorescence resonance energy transfer assays, and surface plasmon resonance measurements. Neutrophil activation was measured using the ferricytochrome C assay and AAT methionine-oxidation by Parallel Reaction Monitoring.Results We found significantly increased PR3 and AAT pools in patients with both PR3- and MPO-AAV; however, only in PR3-AAV did the PR3 pool correlate with the ANCA titer, inflammatory response, and disease severity. Mechanistically, AAT prevented PR3 from binding to CD177, thereby reducing neutrophil surface antigen for ligation by PR3-ANCA. Active patients with PR3-AAV showed critical methionine-oxidation in plasma AAT that was recapitulated by ANCA-activated neutrophils. The protective PR3-related AAT effects were compromised by methionine-oxidation in the AAT reactive center loop but preserved when 2 critical methionines were substituted with valine and leucine.Conclusion Pathogenic differences between PR3- and MPO-AAV are related to AAT regulation of membrane-PR3, attenuating neutrophil activation by PR3-ANCA rather than MPO-ANCA. Oxidation-resistant AAT could serve as adjunctive therapy in PR3-AAV.FUNDING This work was supported by KE 576/10-1 from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SCHR 771/8-1 from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, grant 394046635 — SFB 1365 from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, and ECRC grants.
Maximilian Ebert, Uwe Jerke, Claudia Eulenberg-Gustavus, Lovis Kling, Dieter Jenne, Marieluise Kirchner, Philipp Mertins, Markus Bieringer, Saban Elitok, Kai-Uwe Eckardt, Adrian Schreiber, Alan D. Salama, Ralph Kettritz
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2A (CMT2A) is an axonal neuropathy caused by mutations in the mitofusin 2 (MFN2) gene. MFN2 mutations result in profound mitochondrial abnormalities, but the mechanism underlying the axonal pathology is unknown. Sterile α and Toll/IL-1 receptor motif–containing 1 (SARM1), the central executioner of axon degeneration, can induce neuropathy and is activated by dysfunctional mitochondria. We tested the role of SARM1 in a rat model carrying a dominant CMT2A mutation (Mfn2H361Y) that exhibits progressive dying-back axonal degeneration, neuromuscular junction (NMJ) abnormalities, muscle atrophy, and mitochondrial abnormalities — all hallmarks of the human disease. We generated Sarm1-KO (Sarm1–/–) and Mfn2H361Y Sarm1 double-mutant rats and found that deletion of Sarm1 rescued axonal, synaptic, muscle, and functional phenotypes, demonstrating that SARM1 was responsible for much of the neuropathology in this model. Despite the presence of mutant MFN2 protein in these double-mutant rats, loss of SARM1 also dramatically suppressed many mitochondrial defects, including the number, size, and cristae density defects of synaptic mitochondria. This surprising finding indicates that dysfunctional mitochondria activated SARM1 and that activated SARM1 fed back on mitochondria to exacerbate the mitochondrial pathology. As such, this work identifies SARM1 inhibition as a therapeutic candidate for the treatment of CMT2A and other neurodegenerative diseases with prominent mitochondrial pathology.
Yurie Sato-Yamada, Amy Strickland, Yo Sasaki, Joseph Bloom, Aaron DiAntonio, Jeffrey Milbrandt
A fundamental issue in regenerative medicine is whether there exist endogenous regulatory mechanisms that limit the speed and efficiency of the repair process. We report the existence of a maturation checkpoint during muscle regeneration that pauses myofibers at a neonatal stage. This checkpoint is regulated by the mitochondrial protein mitofusin 2 (Mfn2), the expression of which is activated in response to muscle injury. Mfn2 is required for growth and maturation of regenerating myofibers; in the absence of Mfn2, new myofibers arrested at a neonatal stage, characterized by centrally nucleated myofibers and loss of H3K27me3 repressive marks at the neonatal myosin heavy chain gene. A similar arrest at the neonatal stage was observed in infantile cases of human centronuclear myopathy. Mechanistically, Mfn2 upregulation suppressed expression of hypoxia-induced factor 1α (HIF1α), which is induced in the setting of muscle damage. Sustained HIF1α signaling blocked maturation of new myofibers at the neonatal-to-adult fate transition, revealing the existence of a checkpoint that delays muscle regeneration. Correspondingly, inhibition of HIF1α allowed myofibers to bypass the checkpoint, thereby accelerating the repair process. We conclude that skeletal muscle contains a regenerative checkpoint that regulates the speed of myofiber maturation in response to Mfn2 and HIF1α activity.
Xun Wang, Yuemeng Jia, Jiawei Zhao, Nicholas P. Lesner, Cameron J. Menezes, Spencer D. Shelton, Siva Sai Krishna Venigalla, Jian Xu, Chunyu Cai, Prashant Mishra
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein is the main antigen in all approved COVID-19 vaccines and is also the only target for monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapies. Immune responses to other viral antigens are generated after SARS-CoV-2 infection, but their contribution to the antiviral response remains unclear. Here, we interrogated whether nucleocapsid-specific antibodies can improve protection against SARS-CoV-2. We first immunized mice with a nucleocapsid-based vaccine and then transferred sera from these mice into naive mice, followed by challenge with SARS-CoV-2. We show that mice that received nucleocapsid-specific sera or a nucleocapsid-specific mAb exhibited enhanced control of SARS-CoV-2. Nucleocapsid-specific antibodies elicited NK-mediated, antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) against infected cells. To our knowledge, these findings provide the first demonstration in the coronavirus literature that antibody responses specific to the nucleocapsid protein can improve viral clearance, providing a rationale for the clinical evaluation of nucleocapsid-based mAb therapies to treat COVID-19.
Tanushree Dangi, Sarah Sanchez, Jacob Class, Michelle Richner, Lavanya Visvabharathy, Young Rock Chung, Kirsten Bentley, Richard J. Stanton, Igor J. Koralnik, Justin M. Richner, Pablo Penaloza-MacMaster
Testosterone is the canonical growth factor of prostate cancer but can paradoxically suppress its growth when present at supraphysiological levels. We have previously demonstrated that the cyclical administration of supraphysiological androgen (SPA), termed bipolar androgen therapy (BAT), can result in tumor regression and clinical benefit for patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer. However, predictors and mechanisms of response and resistance have been ill defined. Here, we show that growth inhibition of prostate cancer models by SPA required high androgen receptor (AR) activity and were driven in part by downregulation of MYC. Using matched sequential patient biopsies, we show that high pretreatment AR activity predicted downregulation of MYC, improved clinical response, and prolonged progression-free and overall survival for patients on BAT. BAT induced strong downregulation of AR in all patients, which is shown to be a primary mechanism of acquired resistance to SPA. Acquired resistance was overcome by alternating SPA with the AR inhibitor enzalutamide, which induced adaptive upregulation of AR and resensitized prostate cancer to SPA. This work identifies high AR activity as a predictive biomarker of response to BAT and supports a treatment paradigm for prostate cancer involving alternating between AR inhibition and activation.
Laura A. Sena, Rajendra Kumar, David E. Sanin, Elizabeth A. Thompson, D. Marc Rosen, Susan L. Dalrymple, Lizamma Antony, Yuhan Yang, Carolina Gomes-Alexandre, Jessica L. Hicks, Tracy Jones, Kiara A. Bowers, Jillian N. Eskra, Jennifer Meyers, Anuj Gupta, Alyza Skaist, Srinivasan Yegnasubramanian, Jun Luo, W. Nathaniel Brennen, Sushant K. Kachhap, Emmanuel S. Antonarakis, Angelo M. De Marzo, John T. Isaacs, Mark C. Markowski, Samuel R. Denmeade