Prostate tumour growth is almost always dependent upon the androgen receptor pathway and hence therapies aimed at blocking this signalling axis are useful tools in the management of this disease. Unfortunately such therapies invariably fail; and the tumour progresses to an “androgen-independent” stage. In such cases androgen receptor expression is almost always maintained and much evidence exists to suggest that it may still be driving growth. One mechanism by which the receptor is thought to remain active is mutation. This review summarises the present data on androgen receptor mutations in prostate cancer, and how such substitutions offer a growth advantage by affecting cofactor interactions or by reducing ligand specificity. Such alterations appear to have a subsequent effect upon gene expression suggesting that tumours may “behave” differently dependent upon the ligand promoting growth and if a mutation is present.
Keywords: Prostate Cancer, Androgen Receptor, tumour progresses, ligand, DNA Binding Domain
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