GRK2 enforces androgen receptor dependence in the prostate and prostate tumors

Oncogene. 2020 Mar;39(11):2424-2436. doi: 10.1038/s41388-020-1159-x. Epub 2020 Jan 20.


Metastatic tumors that have become resistant to androgen deprivation therapy represent the major challenge in treating prostate cancer. Although these recurrent tumors typically remain dependent on the androgen receptor (AR), non-AR-driven tumors that also emerge are particularly deadly and becoming more prevalent. Here, we present a new genetically engineered mouse model for non-AR-driven prostate cancer that centers on a negative regulator of G protein-coupled receptors that is downregulated in aggressive human prostate tumors. Thus, prostate-specific expression of a dominant-negative G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2-DN) transgene diminishes AR and AR target gene expression in the prostate, and confers resistance to castration-induced involution. Further, the GRK2-DN transgene dramatically accelerates oncogene-initiated prostate tumorigenesis by increasing primary tumor size, potentiating visceral organ metastasis, suppressing AR, and inducing neuroendocrine marker mRNAs. In summary, GRK2 enforces AR-dependence in the prostate, and the loss of GRK2 function in prostate tumors accelerates disease progression toward the deadliest stage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 2 / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism*


  • AR protein, mouse
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • GRK2 protein, mouse
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 2