Co-evolution of AR gene copy number and structural complexity in endocrine therapy resistant prostate cancer

Andrej Zivanovic, Jeffrey T. Miller, Sarah A. Munro, Todd P. Knutson, Yingming Li, Courtney N. Passow, Pijus Simonaitis, Molly Lynch, Le Ann Oseth, Shuang G. Zhao, Felix Y. Feng, Pernilla Wikström, Eva Corey, Colm Morrissey, Christine Henzler, Benjamin J. Raphael, Scott M. Dehm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Androgen receptor (AR) inhibition is standard of care for advanced prostate cancer (PC). However, efficacy is limited by progression to castration-resistant PC (CRPC), usually due to AR re-activation via mechanisms that include AR amplification and structural rearrangement. These two classes of AR alterations often co-occur in CRPC tumors, but it is unclear whether this reflects intercellular or intracellular heterogeneity of AR. Resolving this is important for developing new therapies and predictive biomarkers. Here, we analyzed 41 CRPC tumors and 6 patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) using linked-read DNA-sequencing, and identified 7 tumors that developed complex, multiply-rearranged AR gene structures in conjunction with very high AR copy number. Analysis of PDX models by optical genome mapping and fluorescence in situ hybridization showed that AR residing on extrachromosomal DNA (ecDNA) was an underlying mechanism, and was associated with elevated levels and diversity of AR expression. This study identifies co-evolution of AR gene copy number and structural complexity via ecDNA as a mechanism associated with endocrine therapy resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberzcad045
JournalNAR Cancer
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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