Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is treated with 5α-reductase inhibitors (5ARI). These drugs inhibit the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone resulting in apoptosis and prostate shrinkage. Most patients initially respond to 5ARIs; however, failure is common especially in inflamed prostates, and often results in surgery. This communication examines a link between activation of NF-κB and increased expression of SRD5A2 as a potential mechanism by which patients fail 5ARI therapy.METHODS
Tissue was collected from “Surgical” patients, treated specifically for lower urinary tract symptoms secondary to advanced BPH; and, cancer free transition zone from “Incidental” patients treated for low grade, localized peripheral zone prostate cancer. Clinical, molecular and histopathological profiles were analyzed. Human prostatic stromal and epithelial cell lines were genetically modified to regulate NF-κB activity, androgen receptor (AR) full length (AR-FL), and AR variant 7 (AR-V7) expression.RESULTS
SRD5A2 is upregulated in advanced BPH. SRD5A2 was significantly associated with prostate volume determined by Transrectal Ultrasound (TRUS), and with more severe lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) determined by American Urological Association Symptom Score (AUASS). Synthesis of androgens was seen in cells in which NF-κB was activated. AR-FL and AR-V7 expression increased SRD5A2 expression while forced activation of NF-κB increased all three SRD5A isoforms. Knockdown of SRD5A2 in the epithelial cells resulted in significant reduction in proliferation, AR target gene expression, and response to testosterone (T). In tissue recombinants, canonical NF-κB activation in prostatic epithelium elevated all three SRD5A isoforms and resulted in in vivo growth under castrated conditions.CONCLUSION
Increased BPH severity in patients correlates with SRD5A2 expression. We demonstrate that NF-κB and AR-V7 upregulate SRD5A expression providing a mechanism to explain failure of 5ARI therapy in BPH patients. Prostate 76:1004–1018, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.