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Inhibition of the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway promotes castration-resistant prostate cancer
Kaushik AK, Shojaie A, Panzitt K, Sonavane R, Venghatakrishnan H Manikkam M et al.
The precise molecular alterations driving castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) are not clearly understood. Using a novel network-based integrative approach, here, we show distinct alterations in the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway (HBP) to be critical for CRPC. Expression of HBP enzyme glucosamine-phosphate N-acetyltransferase 1 (GNPNAT1) is found to be significantly decreased in CRPC compared with localized prostate cancer (PCa). Genetic loss-of-function of GNPNAT1 in CRPC-like cells increases proliferation and aggressiveness, in vitro and in vivo. This is mediated by either activation of the PI3K-AKT pathway in cells expressing full-length androgen receptor (AR) or by specific protein 1 (SP1)-regulated expression of carbohydrate response element-binding protein (ChREBP) in cells containing AR-V7 variant. Strikingly, addition of the HBP metabolite UDP-N-acetylglucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc) to CRPC-like cells significantly decreases cell proliferation, both in-vitro and in animal studies, while also demonstrates additive efficacy when combined with enzalutamide in-vitro. These observations demonstrate the therapeutic value of targeting HBP in CRPC.