Androgen biosynthesis enzyme 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (3βHSD1) encoded by HSD3B1 has emerged as a potential driver for therapeutic resistance in prostate cancer. Patients with homozygous HSD3B1(1245C) inheritance are intrinsically more resistant to currently available androgen/androgen receptor–targeting (AR-targeting) drugs. In this issue of the JCI, Li et al. present data on the regulation of 3βHSD1 phosphorylation and activity by tyrosine kinase BMX. Inhibition of BMX activity by genetic or pharmacologic approaches blocked androgen biosynthesis in prostate cancer cells and inhibited tumor growth in preclinical xenograft models. The findings provide insights into mechanisms underlying castration resistance in prostate cancer and reveal a potential strategy to circumvent therapeutic resistance in patients with homozygous HSD3B1(1245C) inheritance.
Targeting BMX regulation of androgen biosynthesis may circumvent therapeutic resistance in patients with prostate cancer.