Standard treatment for metastatic prostate cancer (CaP) prevents ligand-activation of androgen receptor (AR). Despite initial remission, CaP progresses while relying on AR. AR transcriptional output controls CaP behavior and is an alternative therapeutic target, but its molecular regulation is poorly understood. Here, we show that action of activated AR partitions into fractions that are controlled preferentially by different coregulators. In a 452-AR-target gene panel, each of 18 clinically relevant coregulators mediates androgen-responsiveness of 0-57% genes and acts as a coactivator or corepressor in a gene-specific manner. Selectivity in coregulator-dependent AR action is reflected in differential AR binding site composition and involvement with CaP biology and progression. Isolation of a novel transcriptional mechanism in which WDR77 unites the actions of AR and p53, the major genomic drivers of lethal CaP, to control cell cycle progression provides proof-of-principle for treatment via selective interference with AR action by exploiting AR dependence on coregulators.
Keywords: androgen deprivation therapy; cancer biology; castration; castration-resistant; coactivator; corepressor; human; transcription.