Alternative splicing is emerging as an oncogenic mechanism. In prostate cancer, generation of constitutively active forms of androgen receptor (AR) variants including AR-V7 plays an important role in progression of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). AR-V7 is generated by alternative splicing that results in inclusion of cryptic exon CE3 and translation of truncated AR protein that lacks the ligand binding domain. Whether AR-V7 can be a driver for CRPC remains controversial as the oncogenic mechanism of AR-V7 activation remains elusive. Here, we found that KDM4B promotes AR-V7 and identified a novel regulatory mechanism. KDM4B is phosphorylated by protein kinase A under conditions that promote castration-resistance, eliciting its binding to the splicing factor SF3B3. KDM4B binds RNA specifically near the 5′-CE3, upregulates the chromatin accessibility, and couples the spliceosome to the chromatin. Our data suggest that KDM4B can function as a signal responsive trans-acting splicing factor and scaffold that recruits and stabilizes the spliceosome near the alternative exon, thus promoting its inclusion. Genome-wide profiling of KDM4B-regulated genes also identified additional alternative splicing events implicated in tumorigenesis. Our study defines KDM4B-regulated alternative splicing as a pivotal mechanism for generating AR-V7 and a contributing factor for CRPC, providing insight for mechanistic targeting of CRPC.
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