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Human DECR1 is an androgen-repressed survival factor that regulates PUFA oxidation to protect prostate tumor cells from ferroptosis


Fatty acid beta-oxidation (FAO) is the main bioenergetic pathway in human prostate cancer (PCa) and a promising novel therapeutic vulnerability. Here we demonstrate therapeutic efficacy of targeting FAO in clinical prostate tumors cultured ex vivo, and identify DECR1, encoding the rate-limiting enzyme for oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), as robustly overexpressed in PCa tissues and associated with shorter relapse-free survival. DECR1 is a negatively-regulated androgen receptor (AR) target gene and, therefore, may promote PCa cell survival and resistance to AR targeting therapeutics. DECR1 knockdown selectively inhibited beta-oxidation of PUFAs, inhibited proliferation and migration of PCa cells, including treatment resistant lines, and suppressed tumor cell proliferation and metastasis in mouse xenograft models. Mechanistically, targeting of DECR1 caused cellular accumulation of PUFAs, enhanced mitochondrial oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation, and induced ferroptosis. These findings implicate PUFA oxidation via DECR1 as an unexplored facet of FAO that promotes survival of PCa cells.

Type Journal
ISBN 2050-084X (Electronic) 2050-084X (Linking)
Authors Nassar, Z. D.; Mah, C. Y.; Dehairs, J.; Burvenich, I. J.; Irani, S.; Centenera, M. M.; Helm, M.; Shrestha, R. K.; Moldovan, M.; Don, A. S.; Holst, J.; Scott, A. M.; Horvath, L. G.; Lynn, D. J.; Selth, L. A.; Hoy, A. J.; Swinnen, J. V.; Butler, L. M.
Responsible Garvan Author A/Prof Lisa Horvath
Publisher Name eLife
Published Date 2020-07-20
Published Volume 9
Published Pages e54166
Status Always Electronic
DOI 10.7554/eLife.54166
URL link to publisher's version