REST mediates androgen receptor actions on gene repression and predicts early recurrence of prostate cancer

Charlotte Svensson, Jens Ceder, Diego Iglesias-Gato, Yin Choy Chuan, See Tong Pang, Anders Bjartell, Roxana Merino Martinez, Laura Bott, Leszek Helczynski, David Ulmert, Yuzhuo Wang, Yuanjie Niu, Colin Collins, Amilcar Flores-Morales*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


The androgen receptor (AR) is a key regulator of prostate tumorgenesis through actions that are not fully understood. We identified the repressor element (RE)-1 silencing transcription factor (REST) as a mediator of AR actions on gene repression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that AR binds chromatin regions containing well-characterized cis-elements known to mediate REST transcriptional repression, while cell imaging studies confirmed that REST and AR closely co-localize in vivo. Androgen-induced gene repression also involves modulation of REST protein turnover through actions on the ubiquitin ligase β-TRCP. Androgen deprivation or AR blockage with inhibitor MDV3100 (Enzalutamide) leads to neuroendocrine (NE) differentiation, a phenomenon that is mimicked by REST inactivation. Gene expression profiling revealed that REST not only acts to repress neuronal genes but also genes involved in cell cycle progression, including Aurora Kinase A, that has previously been implicated in the growth of NE-like castration-resistant tumors. The analysis of prostate cancer tissue microarrays revealed that tumors with reduced expression of REST have higher probability of early recurrence, independently of their Gleason score. The demonstration that REST modulates AR actions in prostate epithelia and that REST expression is negatively correlated with disease recurrence after prostatectomy, invite a deeper characterization of its role in prostate carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)999-1015
Number of pages17
JournalNucleic acids research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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