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Polycomb-mediated silencing in neuroendocrine prostate cancer

Clermont, Pier-Luc; Lin, Dong; Crea, Francesco; Wu, Rebecca; Xue, Hui; Wang, Yuwei; Thu, Kelsie L; Lam, Wan L; Collins, Colin C; Wang, Yuzhuo and Helgason, Cheryl D (2015). Polycomb-mediated silencing in neuroendocrine prostate cancer. Clinical Epigenetics, 7(40)

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13148-015-0074-4
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Abstract

BACKGROUND:
Neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC) is a highly aggressive subtype of prostate cancer (PCa) for which the median survival remains less than a year. Current treatments are only palliative in nature, and the lack of suitable pre-clinical models has hampered previous efforts to develop novel therapeutic strategies. Addressing this need, we have recently established the first in vivo model of complete neuroendocrine transdifferentiation using patient-derived xenografts. Few genetic differences were observed between parental PCa and relapsed NEPC, suggesting that NEPC likely results from alterations that are epigenetic in nature. Thus, we sought to identify targetable epigenetic regulators whose expression was elevated in NEPC using genome-wide profiling of patient-derived xenografts and clinical samples.
RESULTS:
Our data indicate that multiple members of the polycomb group (PcG) family of transcriptional repressors were selectively upregulated in NEPC. Notably, CBX2 and EZH2 were consistently the most highly overexpressed epigenetic regulators across multiple datasets from clinical and xenograft tumor tissues. Given the striking upregulation of PcG genes and other transcriptional repressors, we derived a 185-gene list termed 'neuroendocrine-associated repression signature' (NEARS) by overlapping transcripts downregulated across multiple in vivo NEPC models. In line with the striking upregulation of PcG family members, NEARS was preferentially enriched with PcG target genes, suggesting a driving role for PcG silencing in NEPC. Importantly, NEARS was significantly associated with high-grade tumors, metastatic progression, and poor outcome in multiple clinical datasets, consistent with extensive literature linking PcG genes and aggressive disease progression.
CONCLUSIONS:
We have explored the epigenetic landscape of NEPC and provided evidence of increased PcG-mediated silencing associated with aberrant transcriptional regulation of key differentiation genes. Our results position CBX2 and EZH2 as potential therapeutic targets in NEPC, providing opportunities to explore novel strategies aimed at reversing epigenetic alterations driving this lethal disease.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2015 The Authors
ISSN: 1868-7083
Keywords: Neuroendocrine prostate cancer; Patient-derived xenografts; Epigenetics; Polycomb; CBX2; EZH2; Therapeutics; Prognosis
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Life, Health and Chemical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Item ID: 45766
Depositing User: Francesco Crea
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2016 16:16
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 23:24
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/45766
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