5 February 2019

Jack Schalken and Vicky Luna Velez and colleagues, theme Urological cancers, published in Oncogene about suppression of prostate tumor cell survival by antisense oligonucleotide-mediated inhibition of AR-V7 mRNA synthesis.

Publication in Oncogene: link.
Jack Schalken
Vicky Luna Velez

One of the mechanisms by which advanced prostate cancer develops resistance to androgen deprivation therapy is the elevated expression of C-terminally truncated androgen receptor (AR) variants. These variants, such as AR-V7, originate from aberrant splicing of the AR pre-mRNA and the inclusion of a cryptic exon containing a premature stop codon in the mRNA. The resulting loss of the ligand-binding domain allows AR-V7 to act as a constitutively active transcription factor. They designed two antisense oligonucleotides (AONs) directed against cryptic splicing signals within the AR pre-mRNA. These two AONs, AON-ISE and AON-ESE, demonstrated high efficiency in silencing AR-V7 splicing without affecting full-length AR expression. The subsequent downregulation of AR-V7-target gene UBE2C was accompanied by inhibition of androgen-independent cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC)-derived cell line models 22Rv1, DuCaP, and VCaP.
Their results show that splicing-directed AONs can efficiently prevent expression of AR-V7, providing an attractive new therapeutic option for the treatment of CRPC (castration-resistant prostate cancer).

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