Background: There is a need to develop novel therapies which could be beneficial to patients with prostate cancer (CaP) including those who are predisposed to poor outcome, such as African-Americans. This study investigates the role of ROBO1-pathway in predicting outcome and race-based disparity in patients with CaP.
Methods and results: Aided by RNA sequencing-based DECIPHER-testing and immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis of tumors we show that ROBO1 is lost during the progressive stages of CaP, a prevalent feature in African-Americans. We show that the loss of ROBO1 predicts high-risk of recurrence, metastasis and poor outcome of androgen-deprivation therapy in radical prostatectomy-treated patients. These data identified an aggressive ROBO1deficient /DOCK1+ve sub-class of CaP. Combined genetic and IHC data showed that ROBO1 loss is accompanied by DOCK1/Rac1 elevation in grade-III/IV primary-tumors and Mets. We observed that the hypermethylation of ROBO1-promoter contributes to loss of expression that is highly prevalent in African-Americans. Because of limitations in restoring ROBO1 function, we asked if targeting the DOCK1 could be an ideal strategy to inhibit progression or treat ROBO1deficient metastatic-CaP. We tested the pharmacological efficacy of CPYPP, a selective inhibitor of DOCK1 under in vitro and in vivo conditions. Using ROBO1-ve and ROBO1+ve CaP models, we determined the median effective concentration of CPYPP for growth. DOCK1-inhibitor treatment significantly decreased the (a) Rac1-GTP/β-catenin activity, (b) transmigration of ROBO1deficient cells across endothelial lining, and (c) metastatic spread of ROBO1deficient cells through the vasculature of transgenicfl Zebrafish model.
Conclusion: We suggest that ROBO1 status forms as predictive biomarker of outcome in high-risk populations such as African-Americans and DOCK1-targeting therapy has a clinical potential for treating metastatic-CaP.
Keywords: African American; DECIPHER; DOCK1; ROBO1; prostate cancer.
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