Androgen-regulated metabolism and biosynthesis in prostate cancer

    1. Ian G Mills1,2,3
    1. 1Prostate Cancer Research Group, Centre for Molecular Medicine Norway (NCMM), Nordic EMBL Partnership, University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital, N-0318 Oslo, Norway
      2Department of Cancer Prevention, Institute of Cancer Research
      3Department of Urology, Oslo University Hospital, N-0424 Oslo, Norway
    1. Correspondence should be addressed to I G Mills; Email: ian.mills{at}


    Metabolic changes are a well-described hallmark of cancer and are responses to changes in the activity of diverse oncogenes and tumour suppressors. For example, steroid hormone biosynthesis is intimately associated with changes in lipid metabolism and represents a therapeutic intervention point in the treatment of prostate cancer (PCa). Both prostate gland development and tumorigenesis rely on the activity of a steroid hormone receptor family member, the androgen receptor (AR). Recent studies have sought to define the biological effect of the AR on PCa by defining the whole-genome binding sites and gene networks that are regulated by the AR. These studies have provided the first systematic evidence that the AR influences metabolism and biosynthesis at key regulatory steps within pathways that have also been defined as points of influence for other oncogenes, including c-Myc, p53 and hypoxia-inducible factor 1α, in other cancers. The success of interfering with these pathways in a therapeutic setting will, however, hinge on our ability to manage the concomitant stress and survival responses induced by such treatments and to define appropriate therapeutic windows.

    • Revision received 19 January 2014
    • Accepted 4 February 2014
    • Made available online as an Accepted Preprint 4 February 2014
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