Could EZH2 be critical to castration resistance?

According to an article published in Science on Friday last week, activation of an epigenetic regulator known as EZH2 (“enhancer of zeste homolog 2”) may be critical to the onset and progression of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).

The paper by Xu et al. (and an associated media release from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston) describe how EZH2 normally silences selected gene expression, but that its role in the cells of men with CRPC is very different. Apparently in men with CRPC, EZH2 can act as a co-activator of a variety of factors, including the androgen receptor.

The implication is that targeted therapies that block this action of EZH2 in men with CRPC may be able to increase our ability to delay the progression of prostate cancer in men with metastatic or even non-metastatic CRPC. However, there is a reason why the word “may” has been emphasized in this report.

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