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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Expression of Androgen Receptor Variant 7 (AR-V7) in Circulated Tumor Cells and Correlation with Drug Resistance of Prostate Cancer Cells

Shuaibin Wang, Sen Yang, Cunjin Nan, Yijun Wang, Youhua He, Haiqi Mu

Department of Urology, The Second Affiliated Hospital and Yuying Children’s Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: CLR7051-7056

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.909669

Available online: 2018-10-04

Published: 2018-10-04


BACKGROUND: Prostate cancer is a common type of malignant tumor invading the male reproductive-urinary system, which has increasing incidence worldwide. Androgen receptor variant 7 (AR-V7) participates in regulating prostate cancer cell proliferation and gene expression. This study aimed to investigate the expression of AR-V7 in circulated tumor cells (CTCs) in patients with prostate cancer and to assess its correlation with drug sensitivity against enzalutamide or abiraterone.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Blood samples of prostate cancer patients were collected for separating CTCs, in which mRNA expression level of full-length AR and AR-V7 was measured to analyze their correlation with enzalutamide or abiraterone resistance. Progression-free survival (PFS) of patients with different AR-V7 expression levels was compared. AR-V7 was overexpressed in transfected prostate cancer cells, and its effects on proliferation were analyzed by clonal formation assay.
RESULTS: qRT-PCR showed AR-V7 overexpression in a total of 13 patients; 76.92% of these patients developed drug resistance, the distal metastasis of which was significantly higher than that in the group with AR-V7 downregulation, with lower PFS (p<0.01). In cultured prostate cancer cells, AR-V7 upregulation resulted in a significantly higher clonal formation rate than in the control group with enzalutamide-containing medium (p<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: In prostate cancer cells, AR-V7 expression is correlated with drug resistance, as AR-V7 upregulation leads to enhanced proliferation potency of cancer cells, indicating unfavorable prognosis of patients.

Keywords: Drug Resistance, Prostate, Prostatic Diseases