Although inhibition of the androgen–androgen receptor (AR) axis effectively represses the growth of prostate cancer, most of all cases eventually become castration-resistant prostate cancers (CRPCs). Enhancement of the expression of AR and its variants along with the downstream signals is important for disease progression. AR-V7, a constitutive active form of AR, is generated as a result of RNA splicing. RNA splicing creates multiple transcript variants from one pre-messenger RNA (mRNA) by removing introns/exons to allow mRNA translation. The molecular mechanisms leading to marked increases of AR and generation of AR-V7 have been unclear. However, recent papers highlighted the roles of RNA splicing factors which promote AR expression and production of variants. Notably, a broad range of splicing components were aberrantly regulated in CRPC tissues. Interestingly, expression of various spliceosome genes is enhanced by RNA-binding protein splicing factor proline- and glutamine-rich (PSF/SFPQ), leading to changes in the expression of AR
transcript variants. Moreover, inhibition of several splicing factors repressed tumor growth in vivo. Altered expression of splicing factors is correlated to biochemical recurrence in prostate cancer patients. Thus, these findings suggest that splicing factors would be a potential therapeutic target. This review focuses on the emerging roles of splicing factors in prostate cancer progression and AR signaling.
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