Advanced prostate cancer displays conspicuous chromosomal instability and rampant copy number aberrations, yet the identity of functional drivers resident in many amplicons remain elusive. Here, we implemented a functional genomics approach to identify new oncogenes involved in prostate cancer progression. Through integrated analyses of focal amplicons in large prostate cancer genomic and transcriptomic datasets as well as genes upregulated in metastasis, 276 putative oncogenes were enlisted into an in vivo gain-of-function tumorigenesis screen. Among the top positive hits, we conducted an in-depth functional analysis on Pygopus family PHD finger 2 (PYGO2), located in the amplicon at 1q21.3. PYGO2 overexpression enhances primary tumor growth and local invasion to draining lymph nodes. Conversely, PYGO2 depletion inhibits prostate cancer cell invasion in vitro and progression of primary tumor and metastasis in vivo. In clinical samples, PYGO2 upregulation associated with higher Gleason score and metastasis to lymph nodes and bone. Silencing PYGO2 expression in patient-derived xenograft models impairs tumor progression. Finally, PYGO2 is necessary to enhance the transcriptional activation in response to ligand-induced Wnt/b-catenin signaling. Together, our results indicate that PYGO2 functions as a driver oncogene in the 1q21.3 amplicon and may serve as a potential prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target for metastatic prostate cancer. Significance: Amplification/overexpression of PYGO2 may serve as a biomarker for prostate cancer progression and metastasis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research