New Anti-Androgen Signaling Therapies Could Help Treat Prostate Cancer

New Anti-Androgen Signaling Therapies Could Help Treat Prostate Cancer
Spanish researchers studying the 3-D structure of the androgen receptor have been able to explain how more than 40 mutations in this protein can lead to prostate cancer, or to disorders like androgen insensitivity syndromes. The findings also revealed areas in the receptor that are critical for its function and that could be targeted to prevent androgen signaling in prostate cancer, through a mechanism than may surpass current anti-androgen therapies. The study, "Structure of the homodimeric androgen receptor ligand-binding domain," appeared in Nature Communications. Targeting the androgen receptor or its signaling pathway has been a mainstay in the treatment of prostate cancer. But patients often develop mutations that render them resistant to such therapies. The new findings may help researchers design drugs that prevent activation of the androgen receptor pathway through distinct mechanisms, which may help patients who no longer respond to current anti-androgen therapies. For the first time, the research team at Barcelona's Sant Pau Biomedical Research Institute studied the 3-D structure of the homodimeric androgen receptor ligand-binding domain. Given the receptor's importance, "the resolution of its three-dimensional structure is an essential key to diagnose and predict prostate cancer, as well as monitoring patient's resistance to medicine," co-lead investigator Eva Estébanez Perpiñá said in a press release. The team was able to identif
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Inês Martins holds a BSc in Cell and Molecular Biology from Universidade Nova de Lisboa and is currently finishing her PhD in Biomedical Sciences at Universidade de Lisboa. Her work has been focused on blood vessels and their role in both hematopoiesis and cancer development.

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