Androgen Receptor Is a Non-canonical Inhibitor of Wild-Type and Mutant Estrogen Receptors in Hormone Receptor-Positive Breast Cancers

Suriyan Ponnusamy, Sarah Asemota, Lee S. Schwartzberg, Fouzia Guestini, Keely May Mcnamara, Mariaelena Pierobon, Alba Font-Tello, Xintao Qiu, Yingtian Xie, Prakash K. Rao, Thirumagal Thiyagarajan, Brandy Grimes, Daniel L. Johnson, Martin D. Fleming, Frances E. Pritchard, Michael P. Berry, Roy Oswaks, Richard E. Fine, Myles Brown, Hironobu SasanoEmanuel F. Petricoin, Henry W. Long, Ramesh Narayanan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Sustained treatment of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer with ER-targeting drugs results in ER mutations and refractory unresponsive cancers. Androgen receptor (AR), which is expressed in 80%–95% of ER-positive breast cancers, could serve as an alternate therapeutic target. Although AR agonists were used in the past to treat breast cancer, their use is currently infrequent due to virilizing side effects. Discovery of tissue-selective AR modulators (SARMs) has renewed interest in using AR agonists to treat breast cancer. Using translational models, we show that AR agonist and SARM, but not antagonist, inhibit the proliferation and growth of ER-positive breast cancer cells, patient-derived tissues, and patient-derived xenografts (PDX). Ligand-activated AR inhibits wild-type and mutant ER activity by reprogramming the ER and FOXA1 cistrome and rendering tumor growth inhibition. These findings suggest that ligand-activated AR may function as a non-canonical inhibitor of ER and that AR agonists may offer a safe and effective treatment for ER-positive breast cancer. Molecular Biology; Molecular Mechanism of Gene Regulation; Cancer

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-358
Number of pages18
JournaliScience
Volume21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Nov 22

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Mechanism of Gene Regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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    Ponnusamy, S., Asemota, S., Schwartzberg, L. S., Guestini, F., Mcnamara, K. M., Pierobon, M., Font-Tello, A., Qiu, X., Xie, Y., Rao, P. K., Thiyagarajan, T., Grimes, B., Johnson, D. L., Fleming, M. D., Pritchard, F. E., Berry, M. P., Oswaks, R., Fine, R. E., Brown, M., ... Narayanan, R. (2019). Androgen Receptor Is a Non-canonical Inhibitor of Wild-Type and Mutant Estrogen Receptors in Hormone Receptor-Positive Breast Cancers. iScience, 21, 341-358. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2019.10.038