JOURNAL ARTICLE

Alternative RNA splicing of the GIT1 gene is associated with neuroendocrine prostate cancer

Ahn R Lee, Yu Gan, Ning Xie, Varune R Ramnarine, Jessica M Lovnicki, Xuesen Dong
Cancer Science 2018 November 12
30417466
Potent androgen receptor pathway inhibition (ARPI) therapies have given rise to a lethal, aggressive subtype of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) called treatment-induced neuroendocrine prostate cancer (t-NEPC). Now, t-NEPC poses a major clinical problem as approximately 20% of CRPC cases bear this subtype-a rate of occurrence that is predicted to rise with the widespread use of ARPI therapies. Unfortunately, there are no targeted therapies currently available to treat t-NEPC as the origin and molecular underpinnings of t-NEPC development remain unclear. In the present study, we identify that RNA splicing of the G protein-coupled receptor kinase-interacting protein 1 (GIT1) gene is a unique event in t-NEPC patients. Specifically, upregulation of the GIT1-A splice variant and downregulation of the GIT1-C variant expressions are associated with t-NEPC patient tumors, patient-derived xenografts, and cell models. RNA-binding assays show that RNA splicing of GIT1 is directly driven by SRRM4 and is associated with the neuroendocrine phenotype in CRPC cohorts. We show that GIT1-A and GIT1-C regulate differential transcriptomes in prostate cancer cells, where GIT1-A regulates genes associated with morphogenesis, neural function, environmental sensing via cell-adhesion processes, and epigenetic regulation. Consistent with our transcriptomic analyses, we report opposing functions of GIT1-A and GIT1-C in the stability of focal adhesions, whereby GIT1-A promotes focal adhesion stability. In summary, our study is the first to report that alternative RNA splicing of the GIT1 gene is associated with t-NEPC and reprograms its function involving FA-mediated signaling and cell processes, which may contribute to t-NEPC development.

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