Overexpression of the histone acetyltransferase p300 is implicated in the proliferation and progression of prostate cancer, but evidence of a causal role is lacking. In this study, we provide genetic evidence that this generic transcriptional coactivator functions as a positive modifier of prostate tumorigenesis. In a mouse model of PTEN deletion induced prostate cancer, genetic ablation of p300 attenuated expression of the androgen receptor (AR). This finding was confirmed in human prostate cancer cells in which PTEN expression was abolished by RNA interference mediated attenuation. These results were consistent with clinical evidence that the expression of p300 and AR correlates positively in human prostate cancer specimens. Mechanistically, PTEN inactivation increased AR phosphorylation at serine 81 (Ser81) to promote p300 binding and acetylation of AR, thereby precluding its polyubiquitination and degradation. In support of these findings, in PTEN-deficient prostate cancer in the mouse, we found that p300 was crucial for AR target gene expression. Taken together, our work identifies p300 as a molecular determinant of AR degradation and highlights p300 as a candidate target to manage prostate cancer, especially in cases marked by PTEN loss.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research