Androgen receptor drives cellular senescence

Yelena Mirochnik, Dorina Veliceasa, Latanya Williams, Kelly Maxwell, Alexander Yemelyanov, Irina Budunova, Olga V. Volpert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The accepted androgen receptor (AR) role is to promote proliferation and survival of prostate epithelium and thus prostate cancer progression. While growth-inhibitory, tumor-suppressive AR effects have also been documented, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we for the first time link AR anti-cancer action with cell senescence in vitro and in vivo. First, AR-driven senescence was p53-independent. Instead, AR induced p21, which subsequently reduced ΔN isoform of p63. Second, AR activation increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) and thereby suppressed Rb phosphorylation. Both pathways were critical for senescence as was proven by p21 and Rb knock-down and by quenching ROS with N-Acetyl cysteine and p63 silencing also mimicked AR-induced senescence. The two pathways engaged in a cross-talk, likely via PML tumor suppressor, whose localization to senescence-associated chromatin foci was increased by AR activation. All these pathways contributed to growth arrest, which resolved in senescence due to concomitant lack of p53 and high mTOR activity. This is the first demonstration of senescence response caused by a nuclear hormone receptor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere31052
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 5 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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