The non-canonical mechanism of ER stress-mediated progression of prostate cancer

Artem N. Pachikov, Ryan R. Gough, Caroline E. Christy, Mary E. Morris, Carol A. Casey, Chad A. LaGrange, Ganapati Bhat, Anatoly V. Kubyshkin, Iryna I. Fomochkina, Evgeniya Y. Zyablitskaya, Tatiana P. Makalish, Elena P. Golubinskaya, Kateryna A. Davydenko, Sergey N. Eremenko, Jean Jack M. Riethoven, Amith S. Maroli, Thomas S. Payne, Robert Powers, Alexander Y. Lushnikov, Amanda J. MackeArmen Petrosyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: The development of persistent endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is one of the cornerstones of prostate carcinogenesis; however, the mechanism is missing. Also, alcohol is a physiological ER stress inducer, and the link between alcoholism and progression of prostate cancer (PCa) is well documented but not well characterized. According to the canonical model, the mediator of ER stress, ATF6, is cleaved sequentially in the Golgi by S1P and S2P proteases; thereafter, the genes responsible for unfolded protein response (UPR) undergo transactivation. Methods: Cell lines used were non-malignant prostate epithelial RWPE-1 cells, androgen-responsive LNCaP, and 22RV1 cells, as well as androgen-refractory PC-3 cells. We also utilized PCa tissue sections from patients with different Gleason scores and alcohol consumption backgrounds. Several sophisticated approaches were employed, including Structured illumination superresolution microscopy, Proximity ligation assay, Atomic force microscopy, and Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Results: Herein, we identified the trans-Golgi matrix dimeric protein GCC185 as a Golgi retention partner for both S1P and S2P, and in cells lacking GCC185, these enzymes lose intra-Golgi situation. Progression of prostate cancer (PCa) is associated with overproduction of S1P and S2P but monomerization of GCC185 and its downregulation. Utilizing different ER stress models, including ethanol administration, we found that PCa cells employ an elegant mechanism that auto-activates ER stress by fragmentation of Golgi, translocation of S1P and S2P from Golgi to ER, followed by intra-ER cleavage of ATF6, accelerated UPR, and cell proliferation. The segregation of S1P and S2P from Golgi and activation of ATF6 are positively correlated with androgen receptor signaling, different disease stages, and alcohol consumption. Finally, depletion of ATF6 significantly retarded the growth of xenograft prostate tumors and blocks production of pro-metastatic metabolites. Conclusions: We found that progression of PCa associates with translocation of S1P and S2P proteases to the ER and subsequent ATF6 cleavage. This obviates the need for ATF6 transport to the Golgi and enhances UPR and cell proliferation. Thus, we provide the novel mechanistic model of ATF6 activation and ER stress implication in the progression of PCa, suggesting ATF6 is a novel promising target for prostate cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number289
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Alcohol abuse
  • ER stress
  • Golgi fragmentation
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'The non-canonical mechanism of ER stress-mediated progression of prostate cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this