Monga J, Adrianto I, Rogers C, Gadgeel S, Chitale D, Alumkal JJ, Beltran H, Zoubeidi A, and Ghosh J. Tribbles 2 pseudokinase confers enzalutamide resistance in prostate cancer by promoting lineage plasticity. J Biol Chem 2021; 101556.
The Journal of biological chemistry
Enzalutamide, a second-generation antiandrogen, is commonly prescribed for the therapy of advanced prostate cancer, but enzalutamide-resistant, lethal, or incurable disease invariably develops. To understand the molecular mechanism(s) behind enzalutamide resistance, here, we comprehensively analyzed a range of prostate tumors and clinically relevant models by gene expression array, immunohistochemistry, and Western blot, which revealed that enzalutamide-resistant prostate cancer cells and tumors overexpress the pseudokinase, Tribbles 2 (TRIB2). Inhibition of TRIB2 decreases the viability of enzalutamide-resistant prostate cancer cells, suggesting a critical role of TRIB2 in these cells. Moreover, the overexpression of TRIB2 confers resistance in prostate cancer cells to clinically relevant doses of enzalutamide, and this resistance is lost upon inhibition of TRIB2. Interestingly, we found that TRIB2 downregulates the luminal markers androgen receptor and cytokeratin 8 in prostate cancer cells but upregulates the neuronal transcription factor BRN2 (Brain-2) and the stemness factor SOX2 (SRY-box 2) to induce neuroendocrine characteristics. Finally, we show that inhibition of either TRIB2 or its downstream targets, BRN2 or SOX2, resensitizes resistant prostate cancer cells to enzalutamide. Thus, TRIB2 emerges as a potential new regulator of transdifferentiation that confers enzalutamide resistance in prostate cancer cells via a mechanism involving increased cellular plasticity and lineage switching.
ePub ahead of print