Aberrant Activation of a Gastrointestinal Transcriptional Circuit in Prostate Cancer Mediates Castration Resistance
Carcinoma, Small Cell
Prostate cancer exhibits a lineage-specific dependence on androgen signaling. Castration resistance involves reactivation of androgen signaling or activation of alternative lineage programs to bypass androgen requirement. We describe an aberrant gastrointestinal-lineage transcriptome expressed in ∼5% of primary prostate cancer that is characterized by abbreviated response to androgen-deprivation therapy and in ∼30% of castration-resistant prostate cancer. This program is governed by a transcriptional circuit consisting of HNF4G and HNF1A. Cistrome and chromatin analyses revealed that HNF4G is a pioneer factor that generates and maintains enhancer landscape at gastrointestinal-lineage genes, independent of androgen-receptor signaling. In HNF4G/HNF1A-double-negative prostate cancer, exogenous expression of HNF4G at physiologic levels recapitulates the gastrointestinal transcriptome, chromatin landscape, and leads to relative castration resistance.