Signaling rewiring allows tumors to survive therapy. Here we show that the decrease of the master regulator microphthalmia transcription factor (MITF) in lethal prostate cancer unleashes eukaryotic initiation factor 3B (eIF3B)–dependent translation reprogramming of key mRNAs conferring resistance to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and promoting immune evasion. Mechanistically, MITF represses through direct promoter binding eIF3B, which in turn regulates the translation of specific mRNAs. Genome-wide eIF3B enhanced cross-linking immunoprecipitation sequencing (eCLIP-seq) showed specialized binding to a UC-rich motif present in subsets of 5′ untranslated regions. Indeed, translation of the androgen receptor and major histocompatibility complex I (MHC-I) through this motif is sensitive to eIF3B amount. Notably, pharmacologic targeting of eIF3B-dependent translation in preclinical models sensitizes prostate cancer to ADT and anti–PD-1 therapy. These findings uncover a hidden connection between transcriptional and translational rewiring promoting therapy-refractory lethal prostate cancer and provide a druggable mechanism that may transcend into effective combined therapeutic strategies.
Our study shows that specialized eIF3B-dependent translation of specific mRNAs released upon downregulation of the master transcription factor MITF confers castration resistance and immune evasion in lethal prostate cancer. Pharmacologic targeting of this mechanism delays castration resistance and increases immune-checkpoint efficacy.