Crosstalking between Androgen and PI3K/AKT Signaling Pathways in Prostate Cancer Cells [Gene Regulation]

December 19th, 2014 by Lee, S. H., Johnson, D., Luong, R., Sun, Z.

Both androgen action and PI3K medicated signaling pathways have been implicated in prostate tumorigenesis. Our androgen receptor (AR) conditional transgenic mice developed murine prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (mPIN) and prostatic adenocarcinoma lesions recapitulating human prostate cancer development and progression. Role of transgenic AR contributing to malignancy was demonstrated by high degree of transgenic AR expression in atypical and tumor cells in mPIN as well as prostatic adenocarcinoma lesions of the transgenic mice, but not in adjacent normal tissue. Interestingly, reduced PI3K/Akt activation also appeared in these mouse atypical and tumor cells, suggesting an interaction between androgen and PI3K/AKT pathways. In this study, we further investigated this interaction. We showed that the androgen depletion or knockdown of AR expression results in elevated levels of active phosphorylated AKT in prostate cancer cells. Castration of conditional Pten knockout mice showed increased Akt, phosphorylated Akt and pS6 expression in the mouse prostate. Using a series of newly generated Ar reporter and Pten knockout compound mice, we showed that Pten loss directly represses endogenous Ar expression in prostatic epithelial cells. Moreover, Pten loss and PI3K/Akt activation reduced Ar mediated transcription in purified Pten null cells. This study provides novel evidence demonstrating interplay between androgen and PI3K pathways, as well as introduces unique and relevant mouse models for further studies of PI3K and AR pathways in the context of prostate tumorigenesis.