Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
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Loss of SYNCRIP unleashes APOBEC-driven mutagenesis, tumor heterogeneity, and AR-targeted therapy resistance in prostate cancer.

Cancer Cell 2023 August 15
Tumor mutational burden and heterogeneity has been suggested to fuel resistance to many targeted therapies. The cytosine deaminase APOBEC proteins have been implicated in the mutational signatures of more than 70% of human cancers. However, the mechanism underlying how cancer cells hijack the APOBEC mediated mutagenesis machinery to promote tumor heterogeneity, and thereby foster therapy resistance remains unclear. We identify SYNCRIP as an endogenous molecular brake which suppresses APOBEC-driven mutagenesis in prostate cancer (PCa). Overactivated APOBEC3B, in SYNCRIP-deficient PCa cells, is a key mutator, representing the molecular source of driver mutations in some frequently mutated genes in PCa, including FOXA1, EP300. Functional screening identifies eight crucial drivers for androgen receptor (AR)-targeted therapy resistance in PCa that are mutated by APOBEC3B: BRD7, CBX8, EP300, FOXA1, HDAC5, HSF4, STAT3, and AR. These results uncover a cell-intrinsic mechanism that unleashes APOBEC-driven mutagenesis, which plays a significant role in conferring AR-targeted therapy resistance in PCa.

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