Resistance to androgen receptor (AR)-targeted therapies in prostate cancer (PC) is a major clinical problem. A key mechanism of treatment resistance in advanced PC is the generation of alternatively spliced forms of the AR termed AR variants (AR-Vs) that are refractory to targeted agents and drive tumour progression. Our understanding of how ARVs function is limited due to difficulties in distinguishing their discriminate activities from full-length AR (FL-AR). Here we report the development of a novel CRISPR-derived cell line which is a derivative of CWR22Rv1 cells, called CWR22Rv1-AR-EK, that has lost expression of FL-AR, but retains all endogenous AR-Vs. From this, we show that AR-Vs act unhindered by loss of FL-AR to drive cell growth and expression of androgenic genes. Global transcriptomics demonstrate that AR-Vs drive expression of a cohort of DNA damage response genes and depletion of AR-Vs sensitises cells to ionising radiation. Moreover, we demonstrate that AR-Vs interact with PARP1 and PARP2 and are dependent upon their catalytic function for transcriptional activation. Importantly, PARP blockade compromises expression of AR-V-target genes and reduces growth of CRPC cell lines suggesting a synthetic lethality relationship between AR-Vs and PARP, advocating the use of PARP inhibitors in AR-V positive PC.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Prostate Cancer UK through a Studentship [S14-007]; Medical Research Council (MRC) [MR/P009972/1]; Cancer Research UK. Funding for open access charge: MRC. Conflict of interest statement. None declared.
© The Author(s) 2019.