Arrestin2 modulates androgen receptor activation

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Androgen receptor (AR) has a pivotal role in the growth and survival of prostate cancer (PCa). Arrestin2 (Arr2) is a ubiquitous scaffolding/adaptor protein first characterized as a regulator of G protein-coupled receptor signaling. In this study, we report that Arr2 additionally functions as a positive regulator of AR expression and function in PCa cells. Expression level of Arr2 correlates with that of AR, and knockdown of Arr2 inhibits the expression of AR and its effectors prostate-specific antigen, transmembrane protease serine 2, FK506-binding protein 51 and fatty acid synthase. Mechanistically, the knockdown of Arr2 attenuates the binding of AR to androgen response elements and consequently decreases transcription of AR-regulated genes. The inhibition of AR by Arr2 knockdown occurs in both androgen-dependent and castration-resistant PCa (CRPC) cells, although the effect is more prominent in CRPC. Arr2 knockdown inhibits the in vitro CRPC cell proliferation, prostasphere growth and invasion, as well as the in vivo prostate tumor formation, local invasion and distant metastasis. These results illustrate a new role for Arr2 in the expression and activation of AR and its potential relevance as a target for therapeutic intervention and monitoring of disease progression.

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