Clinical and functional characterization of CXCR1/CXCR2 biology in the relapse and radiotherapy resistance of primary PTEN-deficient prostate carcinoma
Armstrong CWD., Coulter JA., Ong CW., Maxwell PJ., Walker S., Butterworth KT., Lyubomska O., Berlingeri S., Gallagher R., O’Sullivan JM., Jain S., Mills IG., Prise KM., Bristow RG., LaBonte MJ., Waugh DJJ.
Functional impairment of the tumour suppressor PTEN is common in primary prostate cancer and has been linked to relapse post-radiotherapy (post-RT). Pre-clinical modelling supports elevated CXC chemokine signalling as a critical mediator of PTEN-depleted disease progression and therapeutic resistance. We assessed the correlation of PTEN deficiency with CXC chemokine signalling and its association with clinical outcomes. Gene expression analysis characterized a PTENLOW/CXCR1HIGH/CXCR2HIGH cluster of tumours that associates with earlier time to biochemical recurrence [hazard ratio (HR) 5.87 and 2.65, respectively] and development of systemic metastasis (HR 3.51). In vitro, CXCL signalling was further amplified following exposure of PTEN-deficient prostate cancer cell lines to ionizing radiation (IR). Inhibition of CXCR1/2 signalling in PTEN-depleted cell-based models increased IR sensitivity. In vivo, administration of a CXCR1/2-targeted pepducin (x1/2pal-i3), or CXCR2-specific antagonist (AZD5069), in combination with IR to PTEN-deficient xenografts attenuated tumour growth and progression compared to control or IR alone. Post-mortem analysis confirmed that x1/2pal-i3 administration attenuated IR-induced CXCL signalling and anti-apoptotic protein expression. Interventions targeting CXC chemokine signalling may provide an effective strategy to combine with RT in locally advanced prostate cancer patients with known presence of PTEN-deficient foci.