Increasingly effective therapies targeting the androgen receptor have paradoxically promoted the incidence of neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC), the most lethal subtype of castration-resistant prostate cancer (PCa), for which there is no effective therapy. Here we report that protein kinase C (PKC)λ/ι is downregulated in de novo and during therapy-induced NEPC, which results in the upregulation of serine biosynthesis through an mTORC1/ATF4-driven pathway. This metabolic reprogramming supports cell proliferation and increases intracellular S-adenosyl methionine (SAM) levels to feed epigenetic changes that favor the development of NEPC characteristics. Altogether, we have uncovered a metabolic vulnerability triggered by PKCλ/ι deficiency in NEPC, which offers potentially actionable targets to prevent therapy resistance in PCa.
Keywords: ATF4; PKClambda; aPKC; cancer metabolism; epigenetics; lineage plasticity; mTOR; neuroendocrine; prostate cancer; serine metabolism.
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