Drug-Induced Epigenomic Plasticity Reprograms Circadian Rhythm Regulation to Drive Prostate Cancer toward Androgen Independence
Cancer Discovery, August 2022
Simon Linder, Marlous Hoogstraat, Suzan Stelloo, Nils Eickhoff, Karianne Schuurman, Hilda de Barros, Maartje Alkemade, Elise M. Bekers, Tesa M. Severson, Joyce Sanders, Chia-Chi Flora Huang, Tunc Morova, Umut Berkay Altintas, Liesbeth Hoekman, Yongsoo Kim, Sylvan C. Baca, Martin Sjöström, Anniek Zaalberg, Dorine C. Hintzen, Jeroen de Jong, Roelof J.C. Kluin, Iris de Rink, Claudia Giambartolomei, Ji-Heui Seo, Bogdan Pasaniuc, Maarten Altelaar, René H. Medema, Felix Y. Feng, Amina Zoubeidi, Matthew L. Freedman, Lodewyk F.A. Wessels, Lisa M. Butler, Nathan A. Lack, Henk van der Poel, Andries M. Bergman, Wilbert Zwart
In prostate cancer, androgen receptor (AR)-targeting agents are very effective in various disease stages. However, therapy resistance inevitably occurs and little is known about how tumor cells adapt to bypass AR suppression. Here, we performed integrative multi-omics analyses on tissues isolated before and after 3 months of AR-targeting enzalutamide monotherapy from high-risk prostate cancer patients enrolled in a neoadjuvant clinical trial. Transcriptomic analyses demonstrated that AR inhibition drove tumors towards a neuroendocrine-like disease state. Additionally, epigenomic profiling revealed massive enzalutamide-induced reprogramming of pioneer factor FOXA1 - from inactive chromatin sites towards active cis-regulatory elements that dictate pro-survival signals. Notably, treatment-induced FOXA1 sites were enriched for circadian clock component ARNTL. Post-treatment ARNTL levels associated with poor outcome, and ARNTL knockout strongly decreased prostate cancer cell growth. Our data highlight a remarkable cistromic plasticity of FOXA1 following AR-targeted therapy, and revealed an acquired dependency on circadian regulator ARNTL, a novel candidate therapeutic target.
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