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Basic Research

Correlation of B7-H3 with androgen receptor, immune pathways and poor outcome in prostate cancer: an expression-based analysis

Abstract

Background:

B7-H3 (CD276), part of the B7 superfamily of immune checkpoint molecules, has been shown to have an immunomodulatory role. Its regulation, receptor and mechanism of action remain unclear. B7-H3 protein expression correlates with prostate cancer outcomes, and humanized monoclonal antibodies (that is, enoblituzumab) are currently being investigated for therapeutic use. Here we used genomic expression data to examine the relationship between B7-H3 mRNA expression and prostate cancer.

Methods:

Prostatectomy tissue from 2781 patients were profiled using the Affymetrix HuEx 1.0 ST microarray. Pairwise comparisons were used to identify significant associations between B7-H3 expression and clinicopathologic variables, and survival analyses were used to evaluate the prognostic significance of B7-H3. Pearson’s correlation analyses were performed to assess the relationship of B7-H3 expression with molecular subtypes and individual transcripts. Androgen receptor (AR) occupancy at the B7-H3 locus was determined using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), and androgen-dependent expression changes in B7-H3 was evaluated by quantitative reverse transcription PCR in LNCaP cell lines. Oncomine was queried to evaluate B7-H3 expression in metastatic disease.

Results:

B7-H3 mRNA expression was positively associated with higher Gleason score (P<0.001), tumor stage (P<0.001), and castrate resistant metastatic disease (P<0.0001). High B7-H3 expression correlated with the development of metastasis and prostate cancer specific mortality, but this was not significant on multi-variable analysis. B7-H3 expression correlated with ERG-positive disease (r=0.99) and AR expression (r=0.36). ChIP revealed an AR-binding site upstream of B7-H3, and the presence of androgens decreased B7-H3 expression in LNCaP suggesting potential direct AR regulation. Gene set enrichment analysis demonstrated an association of B7-H3 with androgen signaling as well as immune regulatory pathways.

Conclusions:

Higher B7-H3 expression correlates with Gleason grade, prostate cancer stage and poor oncologic outcomes in prostatectomy cohorts. B7-H3 expression appears to be related to androgen signaling as well as the immune reactome.

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Acknowledgements

AER is supported by a DOD PRTA W81XWH-13-1-0445. AER, SGZ, JLB and MCH are supported by PCF Young Investigator grants.

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Correspondence to A E Ross.

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Supplementary Information accompanies the paper on the Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases website

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Benzon, B., Zhao, S., Haffner, M. et al. Correlation of B7-H3 with androgen receptor, immune pathways and poor outcome in prostate cancer: an expression-based analysis. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis 20, 28–35 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/pcan.2016.49

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