ZFX Mediates Non-canonical Oncogenic Functions of the Androgen Receptor Splice Variant 7 in Castrate-Resistant Prostate Cancer

Academic Article


  • Androgen receptor splice variant 7 (AR-V7) is crucial for prostate cancer progression and therapeutic resistance. We show that, independent of ligand, AR-V7 binds both androgen-responsive elements (AREs) and non-canonical sites distinct from full-length AR (AR-FL) targets. Consequently, AR-V7 not only recapitulates AR-FL's partial functions but also regulates an additional gene expression program uniquely via binding to gene promoters rather than ARE enhancers. AR-V7 binding and AR-V7-mediated activation at these unique targets do not require FOXA1 but rely on ZFX and BRD4. Knockdown of ZFX or select unique targets of AR-V7/ZFX, or BRD4 inhibition, suppresses growth of castration-resistant prostate cancer cells. We also define an AR-V7 direct target gene signature that correlates with AR-V7 expression in primary tumors, differentiates metastatic prostate cancer from normal, and predicts poor prognosis. Thus, AR-V7 has both ARE/FOXA1 canonical and ZFX-directed non-canonical regulatory functions in the evolution of anti-androgen therapeutic resistance, providing information to guide effective therapeutic strategies. By cistrome profiling of endogenous androgen receptor (AR) versus an AR splice variant, AR-V7, Cai et al. uncovered non-canonical pathways uniquely targeted by AR-V7 and ZFX, a previously unknown AR-V7 partner. Targeting cofactors (ZFX or BRD4) or non-canonical downstream pathways of AR-V7 provides potential therapeutic ways for treating prostate cancer.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Molecular Cell  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Cai L; Tsai YH; Wang P; Wang J; Li D; Fan H; Zhao Y; Bareja R; Lu R; Wilson EM
  • Start Page

  • 341
  • End Page

  • 354.e6
  • Volume

  • 72
  • Issue

  • 2