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How some prostate tumors resist treatment -- and how it might be fixed
Date:3/18/2013

LA JOLLA, Calif., March 18, 2013 Hormonal therapies can help control advanced prostate cancer for a time. However, for most men, at some point their prostate cancer eventually stops responding to further hormonal treatment. This stage of the disease is called androgen-insensitive or castration-resistant prostate cancer. In a study published March 18 in Cancer Cell, a team led by researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) found a mechanism at play in androgen-insensitive cells that enables them to survive treatment. They discovered that a protein called Siah2 keeps a portion of androgen receptors constantly active in these prostate cancer cells. Androgen receptorssensors that receive and respond to the hormone androgenplay a critical role in prostate cancer development and progression.

Based on this new information, Siah2 could make a promising biomarker for tracking a prostate cancer patient's response to therapy. Inhibiting Siah2's interaction with the androgen receptor complex might also provide a new method for re-sensitizing castration-resistant prostate tumors to hormone therapy.

Siah2 removes the brake on androgen receptors

"Prostate tumors become castration-resistant by using diverse ways to modify androgen receptor to become constantly active. In this study, we demonstrate how this happens through a previously unknown mechanism orchestrated by Siah2. Surprisingly, it turns out that only a fraction of all androgen receptors are altered in castration-resistant tumors," said Ze'ev Ronai, Ph.D., associate director of Sanford-Burnham's National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center, scientific director of the Institute's La Jolla campus, and senior author of the study.

Normally, androgen receptors are kept in check by an inhibitor called NCOR1. This study revealed that, in castration-resistant prostate tumors, Siah2 tags the NCRO1-androgen receptor complex for degrad
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Contact: Heather Buschman
hbuschman@sanfordburnham.org
858-795-5343
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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