UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Differential Gene Expression Profiles between N-Terminal Domain and Ligand-Binding Domain Inhibitors of Androgen Receptor Reveal Ralaniten Induction of Metallothionein by a Mechanism Dependent on MTF1 Obst, Jon K.; Mawji, Nasrin; Teskey, Simon J. L.; Wang, Jun; Sadar, Marianne


Hormonal therapies for prostate cancer target the androgen receptor (AR) ligand-binding domain (LBD). Clinical development for inhibitors that bind to the N-terminal domain (NTD) of AR has yielded ralaniten and its analogues. Ralaniten acetate is well tolerated in patients at 3600 mgs/day. Clinical trials are ongoing with a second-generation analogue of ralaniten. Binding sites on different AR domains could result in differential effects on AR-regulated gene expression. Here, we provide the first comparison between AR-NTD inhibitors and AR-LBD inhibitors on androgen-regulated gene expression in prostate cancer cells using cDNA arrays, GSEA, and RT-PCR. LBD inhibitors and NTD inhibitors largely overlapped in the profile of androgen-induced genes that they each inhibited. However, androgen also represses gene expression by various mechanisms, many of which involve protein–protein interactions. De-repression of the transcriptome of androgen-repressed genes showed profound variance between these two classes of inhibitors. In addition, these studies revealed a unique and strong induction of expression of the metallothionein family of genes by ralaniten by a mechanism independent of AR and dependent on MTF1, thereby suggesting this may be an off-target. Due to the relatively high doses that may be encountered clinically with AR-NTD inhibitors, identification of off-targets may provide insight into potential adverse events, contraindications, or poor efficacy.

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