by Kanishka Sircar, Heng Huang, Limei Hu, Yuexin Liu, Jasreman Dhillon, David Cogdell, Armen Aprikian, Eleni Efstathiou, Nora Navone, Patricia Troncoso, Wei Zhang
The recently described transcriptomic switch to a mitosis program in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) suggests that mitotic proteins may be rationally targeted at this lethal stage of the disease. In this study, we showed upregulation of the mitosis-phase at the protein level in our cohort of 51 clinical CRPC cases and found centrosomal aberrations to also occur preferentially in CRPC compared with untreated, high Gleason–grade hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (P<0.0001). Expression profiling of chemotherapy-resistant CRPC samples (n?=?25) was performed, and the results were compared with data from primary chemotherapy-naïve CRPC (n?=?10) and hormone-sensitive prostate cancer cases (n?=?108). Our results showed enrichment of mitosis-phase genes and pathways, with progression to both castration-resistant and chemotherapy-resistant disease. The mitotic centromere-associated kinesin (MCAK) was identified as a novel mitosis-phase target in prostate cancer that was overexpressed in multiple CRPC gene-expression datasets. We found concordant gene expression of MCAK between our parent and murine CRPC xenograft pairs and increased MCAK protein expression with clinical progression of prostate cancer to a castration-resistant disease stage. Knockdown of MCAK arrested the growth of prostate cancer cells suggesting its utility as a potential therapeutic target.