GSTM2 is a key molecular determinant of resistance to SG-ARIs

Chaohao Li, Jinpeng Liu, Daheng He, Fengyi Mao, Xiongjian Rao, Yue Zhao, Nadia A. Lanman, Majid Kazemian, Elia Farah, Jinghui Liu, Chrispus M. Ngule, Zhuangzhuang Zhang, Yanquan Zhang, Yifan Kong, Lang Li, Chi Wang, Xiaoqi Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Prostate cancer (PCa) continues to threaten men’s health, and treatment targeting the androgen receptor (AR) pathway is the major therapy for PCa patients. Several second-generation androgen receptor inhibitors (SG-ARIs), including enzalutamide (ENZ), apalutamide (APA) and darolutamide (DARO), have been developed to better block the activity of AR. Unavoidably, emergence of resistance to these novel drugs still persists. Herein, we identified glutathione S-transferase Mu 2 (GSTM2) as an important determinant in the acquisition of resistance to SG-ARIs. Elevated GSTM2 was detected in enzalutamide-resistant (ENZ-R) PCa, and overexpression of GSTM2 in naïve enzalutamide-sensitive (ENZ-S) cells effectively transformed them to ENZ-R PCa. Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), the upstream transcription factor, was implicated in the overexpression of GSTM2 in ENZ-R cells. Mechanistically, GSTM2 antagonized the effect of ENZ by rescuing cells from oxidative stress-associated damage and activation of p38 MAPK pathway. Surprisingly, high GSTM2 levels also associated with cross-resistance to APA and DARO. Taking together, these results provide new insight to ameliorate resistance to SG-ARIs and improve treatment outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4498-4511
Number of pages14
Issue number40
StatePublished - Sep 30 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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