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1.  Association of Tissue mRNA and Serum Antigen Levels of Members of the Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator System with Clinical and Prognostic Parameters in Prostate Cancer 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:972587.
The objective was to determine the mRNA expression and protein levels of uPA system components in tissue specimens and serum samples, respectively, from prostate cancer (PCa) patients and to assess their association with clinicopathological parameters and overall survival (OS). The mRNA expression levels of uPA, its receptor (uPAR), and its inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) were analyzed in corresponding malignant and adjacent nonmalignant tissue specimens from 132 PCa patients by quantitative PCR. Preoperative serum samples from 81 PCa patients were analyzed for antigen levels of uPA system members by ELISA. RNA levels of uPA system components displayed significant correlations with each other in the tumor tissues. A significantly decreased uPA mRNA expression in PCa compared to the corresponding nonmalignant tissue was detected. High uPA mRNA level was significantly associated with a high Gleason score. Elevated concentration of soluble uPAR (suPAR) in serum was significantly associated with a poor OS of PCa patients (P = 0.022). PCa patients with high suPAR levels have a significantly higher risk of death (multivariate Cox's regression analysis; HR = 7.12, P = 0.027). The association of high suPAR levels with poor survival of PCa patients suggests a prognostic impact of suPAR levels in serum of cancer patients.
PMCID: PMC4022202  PMID: 24877154
2.  Loss of MTUS1/ATIP expression is associated with adverse outcome in advanced bladder carcinomas: data from a retrospective study 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:214.
Seventy percent of all bladder tumours tend to recur and need intensive surveillance, and a subset of tumours progress to muscle-invasive and metastatic disease. However, it is still difficult to find the adequate treatment for every individual patient as it is a very heterogeneous disease and reliable biomarkers are still missing. In our study we searched for new target genes in the critical chromosomal region 8p and investigated the potential tumour suppressor gene candidate MTUS1/ATIP in bladder cancer.
MTUS1 was identified to be the most promising deleted target gene at 8p in aCGH analysis with 19 papillary bladder tumours. A correlation with bladder cancer was further validated using immunohistochemistry of 85 papillary and 236 advanced bladder tumours and in functional experiments. Kaplan-Meier analysis and multivariate Cox-regression addressed overall survival (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS) as a function of MTUS1/ATIP expression. Bivariate correlations investigated associations between MTUS1/ATIP expression, patient characteristics and histopathology. MTUS1 expression was analysed in cell lines and overexpressed in RT112, where impact on viability, proliferation and migration was measured.
MTUS1 protein expression was lost in almost 50% of all papillary and advanced bladder cancers. Survival, however, was only influenced in advanced carcinomas, where loss of MTUS1 was associated with adverse OS and DSS. In this cohort, there was also a significant correlation of MTUS1 expression and histological subtype: positive expression was detected in all micropapillary tumours and aberrant nuclear staining was detected in a subset of plasmocytoid urothelial carcinomas. MTUS1 was expressed in all investigated bladder cell lines and overexpression in RT112 led to significantly decreased viability.
MTUS1 is a tumour suppressor gene in cultured bladder cancer cells and in advanced bladder tumours. It might represent one new target gene at chromosome 8p and can be used as an independent prognostic factor for advanced bladder cancer patients. The limitation of the study is the retrospective data analysis. Thus, findings should be validated with a prospective advanced bladder tumour cohort.
PMCID: PMC3994487  PMID: 24650297
MTUS1; ATIP; Bladder cancer; Chromosome 8p deletions
3.  Role of two single nucleotide polymorphisms in secreted frizzled related protein 1 and bladder cancer risk 
In this study, we determined the genotype distribution of two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in secreted frizzled related protein 1 (SFRP1), rs3242 and rs921142, in a Caucasian bladder cancer case-control study. Allelic variants of the SNPs were determined using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis and partly verified by sequencing analysis. Overall, DNA from 188 consecutive and 215 early-onset bladder cancer patients (≤45 years) as well as from 332 controls was investigated. Potential microRNA binding sites were determined for rs3242, and microRNA expression was analysed in cell lines and tumour specimens. We observed a remarkable distribution difference in rs3242 between bladder cancer patients and healthy controls (p=0.05). Additionally, we found a significant difference in genotype distribution (p=0.032), resulting from the difference of early-onset patients and the control group (p=0.007). The risk allele T showed increased frequency in the early-onset patient group (p=0.002). Genotype-dependent differences of microRNA binding capacity were predicted in SFRP1 mRNA for two microRNAs. Hsa-miR-3646 showed strong expression in cell lines and tumour tissue, whereas hsa-miR-603 exhibited weak expression. The rs921142 SNP showed no significant association with bladder cancer risk. This is the first study to describe an association of the SFRP1 SNP rs3242 and bladder cancer risk as well as the influence of rs3242 on genotype-dependent microRNA capacity on SFRP1 mRNA. The onset of bladder seems to be associated with the increased occurrence of the T-allele in rs3242.
PMCID: PMC3796220  PMID: 24133576
SFRP1; SNP; bladder cancer; microRNA; Wnt signalling pathway
4.  Plasmacytoid variant of bladder cancer defines patients with poor prognosis if treated with cystectomy and adjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:71.
Since the definition of different histologic subtypes of urothelial carcinomas by the World Health Organization (WHO) 2004 classification, description of molecular features and clinical behavior of these variants has gained more attention.
We reviewed 205 tumor samples of patients with locally advanced bladder cancer mainly treated within the randomized AUO-AB05/95 trial with radical cystectomy and adjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy for histologic subtypes. 178 UC, 18 plasmacytoid (PUC) and 9 micropapillary (MPC) carcinomas of the bladder were identified. Kaplan Meier analysis and backward multivariate Cox’s proportional hazards regression analysis were performed to compare overall survival between the three histologic subtypes.
Patients suffering from PUC have the worst clinical outcome regarding overall survival compared to conventional UC and MPC of the bladder that in turn seem have to best clinical outcome (27.4 months, 62.6 months, and 64.2 months, respectively; p=0.013 by Kaplan Meier analysis). Backward multivariate Cox´s proportional hazards regression analysis (adjusted to relevant clinicopathological parameters) showed a hazard ratio of 3.2 (p=0.045) for PUC in contrast to patients suffering from MPC.
Histopathological diagnosis of rare variants of urothelial carcinoma can identify patients with poor prognosis.
PMCID: PMC3572418  PMID: 23394492
Chemotherapy; Cystectomy; Micropapillary; Plasmacytoid; Prognosis; Urinary bladder neoplasm
5.  Expression of human Piwi-like genes is associated with prognosis for soft tissue sarcoma patients 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:272.
Argonaute genes are essential for RNA interference, stem cell maintenance and differentiation. The Piwi-like genes, a subclass of the Argonaute genes, are expressed mainly in the germline. These genes may be re-expressed in tumors, and expression of the Piwi-like genes is associated with prognosis in several types of tumors.
We measured the expression of Piwi-like mRNAs (Piwi-like 2–4) in 125 soft tissue sarcoma (STS) samples by qPCRs. Statistical tests were applied to study the correlation of expression levels with tumor-specific survival for STS patients.
In multivariate Cox’s regression analyses, we showed that low Piwi-like 2 and Piwi-like 4 mRNA expression were significantly associated with a worse prognosis (RR = 1.87; p = 0.032 and RR = 1.82; p = 0.039). Low expression of both genes was associated with a 2.58-fold increased risk of tumor-related death (p = 0.01). Piwi-like 4 and combined Piwi-like 2 and 4 mRNA levels correlated significantly with prognosis (RR = 3.53; p = 0.002 and RR = 5.23; p = 0.004) only for female but not for male patients. However, combined low Piwi-like 2 and 3 transcript levels were associated with worse survival (RR = 5.90; p = 0.02) for male patients.
In this study, we identified a significant association between the expression of Piwi-like 2 and 4 mRNAs and the tumor-specific survival of soft tissue sarcoma patients. Furthermore, a connection between sex and the impact of Piwi-like mRNA expressions on STS patients’ prognosis was shown for the first time.
PMCID: PMC3472179  PMID: 22748119
6.  Magnetic Resonance Image-Guided Biopsies with a High Detection Rate of Prostate Cancer 
The Scientific World Journal  2012;2012:975971.
Aim. To explore the potential of transrectal magnetic resonance image- (MRI-) guided biopsies of the prostate in a patient cohort with prior negative ultrasound guided biopsies. Patients and Methods. Ninety-six men with suspected prostate cancer underwent MRI-guided prostate biopsies under real-time imaging control in supine position. Results. Adenocarcinoma of the prostate was detected in 39 of 96 patients. For individual core biopsies, MRI yielded a sensitivity of 93.0% and a specificity of 94.4%. When stratifying patients according to the free-to-total prostate-specific antigen (PSA) ratio, the prostate cancer discovery rate was significantly higher in the group with ratios less than 0.15 (57.1%). Conclusion. MRI-guided biopsy of the prostate is a diagnostic option for patients with suspected prostate cancer and a history of repeatedly negative transrectal ultrasound-guided biopsies. Combined with the free-to-total PSA ratio, it is a highly effective method for detecting prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC3317570  PMID: 22489209
7.  NAD(P)H:Quinone Oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) P187S Polymorphism and Prostate Cancer Risk in Caucasians 
NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) catalyses the reduction of quinoid compounds to hydroquinones, preventing the generation of free radicals and reactive oxygen. A “C” to “T” transversion at position 609 of NQO1, leading to a nonsynonymous amino acid change (Pro187Ser, P187S), results in an altered enzyme activity. No NQO1 protein activity was detected in NQO1 609TT genotype, and low to intermediate activity was detected in NQO1 609CT genotype compared with 609CC genotype. Thus, this polymorphism may result in altered cancer predisposition. For prostate cancer, only sparse data are available. We therefore analyzed the distribution of the NQO1 P187S SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) in prostate cancer patients and a healthy control group. Allelic variants were determined using RFLP analysis. Overall, 232 patients without any malignancy and 119 consecutive prostate cancer patients were investigated. The genotype distribution in our cohorts followed the Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium in cases and controls. The distribution of the NQO1 codon 187 SNP did not differ significantly between prostate cancer patients and the control group (p = 0.242). There was also no association between the allelic variants and stage or Gleason score of the tumors. The NQO1 P187S SNP was not significantly associated with an increased prostate cancer risk in our cohorts. The SNP has also no influence on histopathological characteristics of the tumors. A combined analysis of all available data from published European studies also showed no significant differences in the genotype distribution between controls and prostate cancer patients. Our data suggest a minor role of the NQO1 nucleotide 609 polymorphism in prostate carcinogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3472723  PMID: 23109831
prostate cancer; NQO1; case-control study; restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis
8.  Polymorphisms in the Hsp70 gene locus are genetically associated with systemic lupus erythematosus 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2010;69(11):1983-1989.
Heat shock proteins (Hsps) play a role in the delivery and presentation of antigenic peptides and are thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of multifactorial diseases.
To investigate genes encoding cytosolic Hsp70 proteins for associations of allelic variants with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Case–control studies of two independent Caucasian SLE cohorts were performed. In a haplotype-tagging single-nucleotide polymorphism approach, common variants of HspA1L, HspA1A and HspA1B were genotyped and principal component analyses were performed for the cohort from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF). Relative quantification of mRNA was carried out for each Hsp70 gene in healthy controls. Conditional regression analysis was performed to determine if allelic variants in Hsp70 act independently of HLA-DR3.
On analysis of common genetic variants of HspA1L, HspA1A and HspA1B, a haplotype significantly associated with SLE in the Erlangen-SLE cohort was identified, which was confirmed in the OMRF cohort. Depending on the cohorts, OR ranging from 1.43 to 1.88 and 2.64 to 3.16 was observed for individuals heterozygous and homozygous for the associated haplotype, respectively. Patients carrying the risk haplotype or the risk allele more often displayed autoantibodies to Ro and La in both cohorts. In healthy controls bearing this haplotype, the amount of HspA1A mRNA was significantly increased, whereas total Hsp70 protein concentration was not altered.
Allelic variants of the Hsp70 genes are significantly associated with SLE in Caucasians, independently of HLA-DR3, and correlate with the presence of autoantibodies to Ro and La. Hence, the Hsp70 gene locus appears to be involved in SLE pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3002760  PMID: 20498198

Results 1-8 (8)