Targeting KDM4B that coactivates c-Myc-regulated metabolism to suppress tumor growth in castrationresistant prostate cancer

Meng Jen Wu, Chih Jung Chen, Ting Yu Lin, Ying Yuan Liu, Lin Lu Tseng, Mei Ling Cheng, Chih Pin Chuu, Huai Kuang Tsai, Wen Ling Kuo, Hsing Jien Kung, Wen Ching Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Rationale: The progression of prostate cancer (PCa) to castration-resistant PCa (CRPC) despite continuous androgen deprivation therapy is a major clinical challenge. Over 90% of patients with CRPC exhibit sustained androgen receptor (AR) signaling. KDM4B that removes the repressive mark H3K9me3/2 is a transcriptional activator of AR and has been implicated in the development of CRPC. However, the mechanisms of KDM4B involvement in CRPC remain largely unknown. Here, we sought to demonstrate the molecular pathway mediated by KDM4B in CRPC and to provide proof-of-concept evidence that KDM4B is a potential CRPC target. Methods: CRPC cells (C4-2B or CWR22Rv1) depleted with KDM4B followed by cell proliferation (in vitro and xenograft), microarray, qRT-PCR, Seahorse Flux, and metabolomic analyses were employed to identify the expression and metabolic profiles mediated by KDM4B. Immunoprecipitation was used to determine the KDM4B-c-Myc interaction region. Reporter activity assay and ChIP analysis were used to characterize the KDM4B-c-Myc complex-mediated mechanistic actions. The clinical relevance between KDM4B and c-Myc was determined using UCSC Xena analysis and immunohistochemistry. Results: We showed that KDM4B knockdown impaired CRPC proliferation, switched Warburg to OXPHOS metabolism, and suppressed gene expressions including those targeted by c-Myc. We further demonstrated that KDM4B physically interacted with c-Myc and they were co-recruited to the c-Myc-binding sequence on the promoters of metabolic genes (LDHA, ENO1, and PFK). Importantly, KDM4B and c-Myc synergistically promoted the transactivation of the LDHA promoter in a demethylase-dependent manner. We also provided evidence that KDM4B and c-Myc are co-expressed in PCa tissue and that high expression of both is associated with worse clinical outcome. Conclusions: KDM4B partners with c-Myc and serves as a coactivator of c-Myc to directly enhance c-Myc-mediated metabolism, hence promoting CRPC progression. Targeting KDM4B is thus an alternative therapeutic strategy for advanced prostate cancers driven by c-Myc and AR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7779-7796
Number of pages18
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • C-Myc
  • Castration-resistant prostate cancer
  • Histone demethylase
  • KDM4B
  • Metabolic rewiring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)


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