Most prostate cancers express androgen receptor (AR), and our previous studies have focused on identifying transcription factors that modify AR function. We have shown that nuclear factor I/B (NFIB) regulates AR activity in androgen-dependent prostate cancer cells in vitro. However, the status of NFIB in prostate cancer was unknown.
We immunostained a tissue microarray including normal, hyperplastic, prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, primary prostatic adenocarcinoma, and castration-resistant prostate cancer tissue samples for NFIB, AR, and synaptophysin, a marker of neuroendocrine differentiation. We interrogated publically available data sets in cBioPortal to correlate NFIB expression and AR and neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPCa) activity scores. We analyzed prostate cancer cell lines for NFIB expression via Western blot analysis and used nuclear and cytoplasmic fractionation to assess where NFIB is localized. We performed co-immunoprecipitation studies to determine if NFIB and AR interact.
NFIB increased in the nucleus and cytoplasm of prostate cancer samples versus matched normal controls, independent of Gleason score. Similarly, cytoplasmic AR and synaptophysin increased in primary prostate cancer. We observed strong NFIB staining in primary small cell prostate cancer. The ratio of cytoplasmic-to-nuclear NFIB staining was predictive of earlier biochemical recurrence in prostate cancer, once adjusted for tumor margin status. Cytoplasmic AR was an independent predictor of biochemical recurrence. There was no statistically significant difference between NFIB and synaptophysin expression in primary and castration-resistant prostate cancer, but cytoplasmic AR expression was increased in castration-resistant samples. In primary prostate cancer, nuclear NFIB expression correlated with cytoplasmic NFIB and nuclear AR, while cytoplasmic NFIB correlated with synaptophysin, and nuclear and cytoplasmic AR. In castration-resistant prostate cancer samples, NFIB expression correlated positively with an AR activity score, and negatively with the NEPCa score. In prostate cancer cell lines, NFIB exists in several isoforms. We observed NFIB predominantly in the nuclear fraction of prostate cancer cells with increased cytoplasmic expression seen in castration-resistant cell lines. We observed an interaction between AR and NFIB through co-immunoprecipitation experiments.
We have described the expression pattern of NFIB in primary and castration-resistant prostate cancer and its positive correlation with AR. We have also demonstrated AR interacts with NFIB.

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