Several oncogenic factors have been involved in prostate cancer progression. However, therapeutic approaches still focus on suppression of androgen receptor (AR) signaling. In fact, whereas the full-length AR incorporates a ligand-binding domain, which has become a drug target for competitive inhibitors, other transcription factors often do not have tractable binding pockets that aid drug development. Consequently drug development efforts have turned to transcription co-regulators, often chromatin-modifying enzymes or factors that bind to epigenetic modifications to chromatin. Bromodomain (BRD)-containing proteins fall into the latter category and significant progress has been made in developing small molecule inhibitors that target a particular subgroup of BRD-containing proteins known as the Bromodomain and extra-terminal (BET) family proteins. These inhibitors have proven particularly effective in inactivating c-Myc in lymphoma but more recently members of the BET family have also been identified as AR-interacting proteins raising the prospect of using these inhibitors as an alternative strategy for targeting AR-driven cancers. In this review we will provide an overview of BRD-containing proteins and the potential for exploiting them as biomarkers and drug targets in prostate cancer.
- Journal Article