Molecular drivers of metastasis in patients with high-risk localized prostate cancer are poorly understood. Therefore, we aim to study molecular drivers of metastatic progression in patients with high-risk prostate cancer. A retrospective matched case-control study of two clinico-pathologically identical groups of patients with high-risk prostate cancer was undertaken. One group developed metastatic recurrence (n = 19) while the other did not (n = 25). The primary index tumor was identified by a uro-pathologist, followed by DNA and RNA extraction for somatic copy-number aberration (SCNA) analysis and whole-transcriptome gene expression analysis. In vitro and in vivo studies included cell line manipulation and xenograft models.
The integrative CNA and gene expression analyses identified an increase in Antizyme Inhibitor 1 (AZIN1) gene expression within a focal amplification of 8q22.3, which was associated with metastatic recurrence of patients with high-risk prostate cancer in four independent cohorts. The effects of AZIN1 knockdown were evaluated, due to its therapeutic potential. AZIN1 knockdown effected proliferation and metastatic potential of prostate cancer cells and xenograft models. RNA sequencing after AZIN1 knockdown in prostate cancer cells revealed upregulation of genes coding for collagen subunits. The observed effect on cell migration after AZIN1 knockdown was mimicked when exposing prostate cancer cells to bio-active molecules deriving from COL4A1 and COL4A2. Our integrated CNA and gene expression analysis of primary high-risk prostate cancer identified the AZIN1 gene as a novel driver of metastatic progression, by altering collagen subunit expression. Future research should further investigate its therapeutic potential in preventing metastatic recurrence.
Implications: AZIN1 was identified as driver of metastatic progression in high-risk prostate cancer through matrikine regulation.
©2022 American Association for Cancer Research.