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author:("Liu, wenchuan")
1.  Rb Loss is Characteristic of Prostatic Small Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma 
Small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma of the prostate is likely to become increasingly common with recent advances in pharmacologic androgen suppression. Thus, developing molecular markers of small cell differentiation in prostate cancer will be important to guide diagnosis and therapy of this aggressive tumor.
Experimental Design
We examined the status of RB1, TP53 and PTEN in prostatic small cell and acinar carcinomas via immunohistochemistry (IHC), copy number alteration analysis and sequencing of formalin fixed paraffin-embedded specimens.
We found Rb protein loss in 90% (26/29) of small cell carcinoma cases with RB1 allelic loss in 85% (11/13) of cases. Of acinar tumors occurring concurrently with prostatic small cell carcinoma, 43% (3/7) showed Rb protein loss. In contrast, only 7% (10/150) of primary high grade acinar carcinomas, 11% (4/35) of primary acinar carcinomas with neuroendocrine differentiation, and 15% (2/13) of metastatic castrate resistant acinar carcinomas showed Rb protein loss. Loss of PTEN protein was seen in 63% (17/27) of small cell carcinomas, with 38% (5/13) showing allelic loss. By IHC, accumulation of p53 was observed in 56% (14/25) of small cell carcinomas, with 60% (6/10) of cases showing TP53 mutation.
Loss of RB1 by deletion is a common event in prostatic small cell carcinoma and can be detected by validated IHC assay. As Rb protein loss rarely occurs in high grade acinar tumors, these data suggest that Rb loss is a critical event in the development of small cell carcinomas and may be a useful diagnostic and potential therapeutic target.
PMCID: PMC3931005  PMID: 24323898
Prostatic adenocarcinoma; small cell carcinoma; tumor suppressor; RB1; TP53; PTEN
2.  Comparison of clinical outcomes and genomic characteristics of single focus and multifocal glioblastoma 
Journal of neuro-oncology  2014;119(2):429-435.
We investigate the differences in molecular signature and clinical outcomes between multiple lesion glioblastoma (GBM) and single focus GBM in the modern treatment era. Between August 2000 and May 2010, 161 patients with GBM were treated with modern radiotherapy techniques. Of this group, 33 were considered to have multiple lesion GBM (25 multifocal and 8 multicentric). Patterns of failure, time to progression and overall survival were compared based on whether the tumor was considered a single focus or multiple lesion GBM. Genomic groupings and methylation status were also investigated as a possible predictor of multifocality in a cohort of 41 patients with available tissue for analysis. There was no statistically significant difference in overall survival (p < 0.3) between the multiple lesion tumors (8.2 months) and single focus GBM (11 months). Progression free survival was superior in the single focus tumors (7.1 months) as compared to multi-focal (5.6 months, p = 0.02). For patients with single focus, multifocal and multicentric GBM, 81, 76 and 88 % of treatment failures occurred in the 60 Gy volume (p < 0.5), while 54, 72, and 38 % of treatment failures occurred in the 46 Gy volume (p < 0.4). Out of field failures were rare in both single focus and multiple foci GBM (7 vs 3 %). Genomic groupings and methylation status were not found to predict for multifocality. Patterns of failure, survival and genomic signatures for multiple lesion GBM do not appreciably differ when compared to single focus tumors.
PMCID: PMC4146694  PMID: 24990827
Glioblastoma; Multifocal; Multicentric
3.  Genome-wide association study in Chinese men identifies two new prostate cancer risk loci at 9q31.2 and 19q13.4 
Nature genetics  2012;44(11):1231-1235.
Prostate cancer risk–associated variants have been reported in populations of European descent, African-Americans and Japanese using genome-wide association studies (GWAS). To systematically investigate prostate cancer risk–associated variants in Chinese men, we performed the first GWAS in Han Chinese. In addition to confirming several associations reported in other ancestry groups, this study identified two new risk-associated loci for prostate cancer on chromosomes 9q31.2 (rs817826, P = 5.45 × 10−14) and 19q13.4 (rs103294, P = 5.34 × 10−16) in 4,484 prostate cancer cases and 8,934 controls. The rs103294 marker at 19q13.4 is in strong linkage equilibrium with a 6.7-kb germline deletion that removes the first six of seven exons in LILRA3, a gene regulating inflammatory response, and was significantly associated with the mRNA expression of LILRA3 in T cells (P < 1 × 10−4). These findings may advance the understanding of genetic susceptibility to prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC4116636  PMID: 23023329
4.  Genetic markers associated with early cancer-specific mortality following prostatectomy 
Cancer  2013;119(13):10.1002/cncr.27954.
To identify novel effectors and markers of localized but potentially life-threatening prostate cancer (PCa), we evaluated chromosomal copy number alterations (CNAs) in tumors from patients who underwent prostatectomy and correlated these with clinicopathologic features and outcome.
CNAs in tumor DNAs from 125 prostatectomy patients in the discovery cohort were assayed with high resolution Affymetrix 6.0 SNP microarrays and then analyzed using the Genomic Identification of Significant Targets in Cancer (GISTIC) algorithm.
The assays revealed twenty significant regions of CNAs, four of them novel, and identified the target genes of four of the alterations. By univariate analysis, seven CNAs were significantly associated with early PCa-specific mortality. These included gains of chromosomal regions that contain the genes MYC, ADAR, or TPD52 and losses of sequences that incorporate SERPINB5, USP10, PTEN, or TP53. On multivariate analysis, only the CNAs of PTEN and MYC contributed additional prognostic information independent of that provided by pathologic stage, Gleason score, and initial PSA level. Patients whose tumors had alterations of both genes had a markedly elevated risk of PCa-specific mortality (OR = 53; C.I.= 6.92–405, P = 1 × 10−4). Analyses of 333 tumors from three additional distinct patient cohorts confirmed the relationship between CNAs of PTEN and MYC and lethal PCa.
This study identified new CNAs and genes that likely contribute to the pathogenesis of localized PCa and suggests that patients whose tumors have acquired CNAs of PTEN, MYC, or both have an increased risk of early PCa-specific mortality.
PMCID: PMC3863778  PMID: 23609948
prostate cancer death; PTEN; MYC; somatic DNA copy number
6.  Evaluation of PPP2R2A as a prostate cancer susceptibility gene: comprehensive germline and somatic study 
Cancer genetics  2011;204(7):375-381.
PPP2R2A, mapped to 8p21.2, encodes for the α isoform of the regulatory B55 subfamily of the protein phosphatase 2 (PP2A). PP2A is one of the four major Ser/Thr phosphatases and is implicated in the negative control of cell growth and division. Because of its known functions and location within a chromosomal region where evidence for linkage and somatic loss of heterozygosity was found, we hypothesized that either somatic copy number changes or germline sequence variants in PPP2R2A may increase prostate cancer (PCa) risk. We examined PPP2R2A deletion status in 141 PCa samples using Affymetrix SNP arrays. It was found that PPP2R2A was commonly (67.1%) deleted in tumor samples including a homozygous deletion in 3 tumors (2.1%). We performed a mutation screen for PPP2R2A in 96 probands of hereditary prostate cancer (HPC) families. No high risk mutations were identified. Additionally, we reanalyzed 10 SNPs of PPP2R2A in sporadic PCa cases and controls. No significant differences in the allele and genotype frequencies were observed among either PCa cases and controls or PCa aggressive and non-aggressive cases. Taken together, these results suggest that a somatic deletion rather than germline sequence variants of PPP2R2A may play a more important role in PCa susceptibility.
PMCID: PMC3722858  PMID: 21872824
PPP2R2A; homozygous deletion; prostate cancer
7.  DNA methylation alterations exhibit intra-individual stability and inter-individual heterogeneity in prostate cancer metastases 
Science translational medicine  2013;5(169):169ra10.
Human cancers nearly ubiquitously harbor epigenetic alterations. While such alterations in epigenetic marks, including DNA methylation, are potentially heritable, they can also be dynamically altered. Given this potential for plasticity, the degree to which epigenetic changes can be subject to selection and act as drivers of neoplasia has been questioned. Here, we carried out genome-scale analyses of DNA methylation alterations in lethal metastatic prostate cancer and created DNA methylation “cityscape” plots to visualize these complex data. We show that somatic DNA methylation alterations, despite showing marked inter-individual heterogeneity among men with lethal metastatic prostate cancer, were maintained across all metastases within the same individual. The overall extent of maintenance in DNA methylation changes was comparable to that of genetic copy number alterations. Regions that were frequently hypermethylated across individuals were markedly enriched for cancer and development/differentiation related genes. Additionally, regions exhibiting high consistency of hypermethylation across metastases within individuals, even if variably hypermethylated across individuals, showed enrichment of cancer-related genes. Interestingly, whereas some regions showed intra-individual metastatic tumor heterogeneity in promoter methylation, such methylation alterations were generally not correlated with gene expression. This was despite a general tendency for promoter methylation patterns to be strongly correlated with gene expression, particularly at regions that were variably methylated across individuals. These findings suggest that DNA methylation alterations have the potential for producing selectable driver events in carcinogenesis and disease progression and highlight the possibility of targeting such epigenome alterations for development of longitudinal markers and therapeutic strategies.
PMCID: PMC3577373  PMID: 23345608
8.  Suppression of Tak1 Promotes Prostate Tumorigenesis 
Cancer research  2012;72(11):2833-2843.
Over 30% of primary prostate cancers contain a consensus deletion of an approximately 800 kb locus on chromosome 6q15.1. The MAP3K7 gene, which encodes TGF-β Activated Kinase-1 (Tak1), is a putative prostate tumor suppressor gene within this region whose precise function remains obscure. In this study, we investigated the role of Tak1 in human and murine prostate cancers. In 50 well-characterized human cancer specimens, we found that Tak1 expression was progressively lost with increasing Gleason grade, both within each cancer and across all cancers. In murine prostate stem cells and Tak1-deficient prostatic epithelial cells, Tak1 loss increased proliferation, migration, and invasion. When prostate stem cells attenuated for Tak1 were engrafted with fetal urogenital mesenchyme, the histopathology of the grafts reflected the natural history of prostate cancer leading from prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia to invasive carcinoma. In the grafts containing Tak1-suppressed prostate stem cells, p38 and JNK activity was attenuated and proliferation was increased. Together, our findings functionally validate the proposed tumor suppressor role of Tak1 in prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC3654674  PMID: 22467172
Tak1; Prostate cancer; Tumor suppressor; Tissue recombination; TGF-β
9.  Genetic and epigenetic inactivation of LPL gene in human prostate cancer 
Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) is in chromosome 8p22, site of one of the most common somatic deletions in prostate tumors. Additionally, a CpG island (CGI) was identified in the LPL promoter region. To test the hypothesis that LPL is a tumor suppressor gene, which is inactivated by somatic deletion and hypermethylation in prostate cancer, we evaluated somatic DNA deletion and methylation status at LPL in 56 pairs of DNA samples isolated from prostate cancer tissues and matching normal controls and 11 prostate cell lines. We found that the DNA in 21 of 56 primary cancers (38%) was methylated in the LPL promoter CGI, whereas no methylation was detected in any normal samples. In addition, we found a hemizygous deletion at LPL in 38 of the 56 tumors (68%). When the results of deletion and methylation were considered together, we found LPL promoter CGI methylation occurred in 45% of LPL deleted tumors and in 22% of LPL retained tumors. Within several clinical characteristics tested, the preoperative PSA levels were found to be significantly higher in subjects with LPL promoter CGI methylation compared with subjects without LPL promoter methylation (p = 0.0012). Additionally, demethylation of the LPL promoter CGI was accompanied by transcriptional reactivation of LPL in the prostate cancer cell lines DU145 and PC3. In summary, we report a novel finding that the LPL gene is commonly methylated in prostate tumors, and our results suggest that biallelic inactivation of LPL by chromosomal deletion and promoter hypermethylation may play a role in human prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC3667349  PMID: 19004026
LPL; promoter methylation; prostate cancer; somatic deletion; biallelic inactivation
10.  Association of prostate cancer risk with SNPs in regions containing androgen receptor binding sites captured by ChIP-on-chip analyses 
The Prostate  2011;72(4):376-385.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified approximately three dozen single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) consistently associated with prostate cancer (PCa) risk. Despite the reproducibility of these associations, the molecular mechanism for most of these SNPs has not been well elaborated as most lie within non-coding regions of the genome. Androgens play a key role in prostate carcinogenesis. Recently, using ChIP-on-chip technology, 22,447 androgen receptor (AR) binding sites have been mapped throughout the genome, greatly expanding the genomic regions potentially involved in androgen-mediated activity.
Methodology/Principal findings
To test the hypothesis that sequence variants in AR binding sites are associated with PCa risk, we performed a systematic evaluation among two existing PCa GWAS cohorts; the Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility (CGEMS) study population. We demonstrate that regions containing AR binding sites are significantly enriched for PCa risk-associated SNPs, i.e. more than expected by chance alone. In addition, compared with the entire genome, these newly observed risk-associated SNPs in these regions are significantly more likely to overlap with established PCa risk-associated SNPs from previous GWAS. These results are consistent with our previous finding from a bioinformatics analysis that one-third of the 33 known PCa risk-associated SNPs discovered by GWAS are located in regions of the genome containing AR binding sites.
The results to date provide novel statistical evidence suggesting an androgen-mediated mechanism by which some PCa associated SNPs act to influence PCa risk. However, these results are hypothesis generating and ultimately warrant testing through in-depth molecular analyses.
PMCID: PMC3366362  PMID: 21671247
AR; prostate cancer; GWAS; pathway association study
11.  A picture with more details is painted for prostate cancer 
Asian Journal of Andrology  2012;14(6):799-800.
PMCID: PMC3720117  PMID: 22842705
12.  Identification of New Differentially Methylated Genes That Have Potential Functional Consequences in Prostate Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e48455.
Many differentially methylated genes have been identified in prostate cancer (PCa), primarily using candidate gene-based assays. Recently, several global DNA methylation profiles have been reported in PCa, however, each of these has weaknesses in terms of ability to observe global DNA methylation alterations in PCa. We hypothesize that there remains unidentified aberrant DNA methylation in PCa, which may be identified using higher resolution assay methods. We used the newly developed Illumina HumanMethylation450 BeadChip in PCa (n = 19) and adjacent normal tissues (n = 4) and combined these with gene expression data for identifying new DNA methylation that may have functional consequences in PCa development and progression. We also confirmed our methylation results in an independent data set. Two aberrant DNA methylation genes were validated among an additional 56 PCa samples and 55 adjacent normal tissues. A total 28,735 CpG sites showed significant differences in DNA methylation (FDR adjusted P<0.05), defined as a mean methylation difference of at least 20% between PCa and normal samples. Furthermore, a total of 122 genes had more than one differentially methylated CpG site in their promoter region and a gene expression pattern that was inverse to the direction of change in DNA methylation (e.g. decreased expression with increased methylation, and vice-versa). Aberrant DNA methylation of two genes, AOX1 and SPON2, were confirmed via bisulfate sequencing, with most of the respective CpG sites showing significant differences between tumor samples and normal tissues. The AOX1 promoter region showed hypermethylation in 92.6% of 54 tested PCa samples in contrast to only three out of 53 tested normal tissues. This study used a new BeadChip combined with gene expression data in PCa to identify novel differentially methylated CpG sites located within genes. The newly identified differentially methylated genes may be used as biomarkers for PCa diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC3485209  PMID: 23119026
13.  PTEN Protein Loss by Immunostaining: Analytic Validation and Prognostic Indicator for a High Risk Surgical Cohort of Prostate Cancer Patients 
Clinical Cancer Research  2011;17(20):6563-6573.
Analytically validated assays to interrogate biomarker status in clinical samples are crucial for personalized medicine. PTEN is a tumor suppressor commonly inactivated in prostate cancer that has been mechanistically linked to disease aggressiveness. Though deletion of PTEN, as detected by cumbersome fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) spot counting assays, is associated with poor prognosis, few studies have validated immunohistochemical (IHC) assays to determine whether loss of PTEN protein is associated with unfavorable disease.
Experimental Design
PTEN IHC was validated by employing formalin fixed and paraffin embedded isogenic human cell lines containing or lacking intact PTEN alleles. PTEN IHC was 100% sensitive and 97.8% specific for detecting genomic alterations in 58 additional cell lines. PTEN protein loss was then assessed on 376 prostate tumor samples, and PTEN FISH or high resolution SNP microarray analysis was performed on a subset of these cases.
PTEN protein loss, as assessed as a dichotomous IHC variable, was highly reproducible, correlated strongly with adverse pathologic features (e.g. Gleason score and pathological stage), detected between 75% and 86% of cases with PTEN genomic loss, and was found at times in the absence of apparent genomic loss. In a cohort of 217 high risk surgically treated patients, PTEN protein loss was associated with decreased time to metastasis.
These studies validate a simple method to interrogate PTEN status in clinical specimens and support the utility of this test in future multi-center studies, clinical trials and ultimately perhaps for routine clinical care.
PMCID: PMC3195839  PMID: 21878536
Prostatic adenocarcinoma; PTEN; immunohistochemistry; FISH
14.  DIAPH3 governs the cellular transition to the amoeboid tumour phenotype 
EMBO Molecular Medicine  2012;4(8):743-760.
Therapies for most malignancies are generally ineffective once metastasis occurs. While tumour cells migrate through tissues using diverse strategies, the signalling networks controlling such behaviours in human tumours are poorly understood. Here we define a role for the Diaphanous-related formin-3 (DIAPH3) as a non-canonical regulator of metastasis that restrains conversion to amoeboid cell behaviour in multiple cancer types. The DIAPH3 locus is close to RB1, within a narrow consensus region of deletion on chromosome 13q in prostate, breast and hepatocellular carcinomas. DIAPH3 silencing in human carcinoma cells destabilized microtubules and induced defective endocytic trafficking, endosomal accumulation of EGFR, and hyperactivation of EGFR/MEK/ERK signalling. Silencing also evoked amoeboid properties, increased invasion and promoted metastasis in mice. In human tumours, DIAPH3 down-regulation was associated with aggressive or metastatic disease. DIAPH3-silenced cells were sensitive to MEK inhibition, but showed reduced sensitivity to EGFR inhibition. These findings have implications for understanding mechanisms of metastasis, and suggest that identifying patients with chromosomal deletions at DIAPH3 may have prognostic value.
PMCID: PMC3494074  PMID: 22593025
cytoskeleton; EGFR; endocytosis; mesenchymal-to-amoeboid transition; metastasis
15.  Genome-wide copy-number variation analysis identifies common genetic variants at 20p13 associated with aggressiveness of prostate cancer 
Carcinogenesis  2011;32(7):1057-1062.
The genetic determinants for aggressiveness of prostate cancer (PCa) are poorly understood. Copy-number variations (CNVs) are one of the major sources for genetic diversity and critically modulate cellular biology and human diseases. We hypothesized that CNVs may be associated with PCa aggressiveness. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a genome-wide common CNVs analysis in 448 aggressive and 500 nonaggressive PCa cases recruited from Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH1) using Affymetrix 6.0 arrays. Suggestive associations were further confirmed using single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that tagged the CNVs of interest in an additional 2895 aggressive and 3094 nonaggressive cases, including those from the remaining case subjects of the JHH study (JHH2), the NCI Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility (CGEMS) Study, and the CAncer of the Prostate in Sweden (CAPS) Study. We found that CNP2454, a 32.3 kb deletion polymorphism at 20p13, was significantly associated with aggressiveness of PCa in JHH1 [odds ratio (OR) = 1.30, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01–1.68; P = 0.045]. The best-tagging SNP for CNP2454, rs2209313, was used to confirm this finding in both JHH1 (P = 0.045) and all confirmation study populations combined (P = 1.77 × 10−3). Pooled analysis using all 3353 aggressive and 3584 nonaggressive cases showed the T allele of rs2209313 was significantly associated with an increased risk of aggressive PCa (OR = 1.17, 95% CI: 1.07–1.27; P = 2.75 × 10−4). Our results indicate that genetic variations at 20p13 may be responsible for the progression of PCa.
PMCID: PMC3128563  PMID: 21551127
16.  Evidence for two independent prostate cancer risk associated loci in the HNF1B gene at 17q12 
Nature genetics  2008;40(10):1153-1155.
A fine mapping study in the HNF1B gene at 17q12 among two study populations revealed a second prostate cancer locus, ~26 kb centromeric to the first known locus (rs4430796); these are separated by a recombination hotspot. A SNP in the second locus (rs11649743) was confirmed in five additional populations, and P=1.7×10−9 for an allelic test in the seven combined studies. The association at each SNP remains significant after adjusting for the other SNP.
PMCID: PMC3188432  PMID: 18758462
17.  Genetic Variants and Family History predict Prostate Cancer similar to PSA 
While PSA is the best biomarker for predicting prostate cancer, its predictive performance needs to be improved. Results from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) revealed the overall performance measured by the areas under curve (AUC) of the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) at 0.68. The goal of the present study is to assess the ability of genetic variants as a PSA independent method to predict prostate cancer risk.
Experimental Design
We systematically evaluated all prostate cancer risk variants that were identified from genome-wide association studies during the past year in a large population-based prostate cancer case-control study population in Sweden, including 2,893 prostate cancer patients and 1,781 men without prostate cancer.
Twelve SNPs were independently associated with prostate cancer risk in this Swedish study population. Using a cutoff of any 11 risk alleles or family history, the sensitivity and specificity for predicting prostate cancer were 0.25 and 0.86, respectively. The overall predictive performance of prostate cancer using genetic variants, family history, and age, measured by AUC was 0.65 (95% CI: 0.63–0.66), significantly improved over that of family history and age (0.61%, 95% CI: 0.59–0.62), P = 2.3 × 10−10.
The predictive performance for prostate cancer using genetic variants and family history is similar to that of PSA. The utility of genetic testing, alone and in combination with PSA levels, should be evaluated in large studies such as the European Randomized Study for Prostate Cancer trial and PCPT.
PMCID: PMC3187807  PMID: 19188186
prostate cancer; prediction; PSA; association
18.  Association of variants at two 17q loci with prostate cancer risk in European and African Americans 
The Prostate  2008;68(7):691-697.
Multiple SNPs at 17q12 and 17q24.3 were recently identified to be associated with prostate cancer risk using a genome-wide association study. Although these associations reached genome-wide significance level in a combined analysis of several study populations of European descent in the original report, confirmation in independent populations, including African Americans (AA), is critical to increase confidence that they represent true disease associations and whether the results can be generalized. Therefore, we evaluated these 7 SNPs in two populations recruited from Johns Hopkins Hospital, including European Americans (EA) (1,563 cases and 576 controls) and AA (364 cases and 353 controls). Each of the previously reported risk alleles of these 7 SNPs were more common in cases than in controls among EA and AA. The differences were highly significant in EA (P = 10−4) and marginally significant in AA (P = 0.04) for 17q12SNPs. In contrast, the differences were not statistically significant in EA or AA for SNPs at 17q24.3, but were marginally significant for two SNPs (P = 0.04 - 0.06) when subjects from EA and AA were combined. Similar results were obtained for genotype and haplotype frequencies. These risk variants were not associated with aggressiveness of prostate cancer or other clinical variables such as TNM stage, pre-operative PSA, or age at diagnosis. Our results provide the first confirmation of these novel prostate loci and the first demonstration that these two loci may also play roles in prostate cancer risk among AA.
PMCID: PMC3176499  PMID: 18361410
prostate cancer; association; risk; 17q12; 17q24.3
19.  Androgen-induced TOP2B mediated double strand breaks and prostate cancer gene rearrangements 
Nature genetics  2010;42(8):668-675.
DNA double strand breaks (DSB) can lead to development of genomic rearrangements, which are hallmarks of cancer. TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusions in prostate cancer (PCa) are among the most common genomic rearrangements observed in human cancer. We show that androgen signaling promotes co-recruitment of androgen receptor (AR) and topoisomerase II beta (TOP2B) to sites of TMPRSS2-ERG genomic breakpoints, triggering recombinogenic TOP2B-mediated DSB. Furthermore, androgen stimulation resulted in de novo production of TMPRSS2-ERG fusion transcripts in a process requiring TOP2B and components of DSB repair machinery. Finally, unlike normal prostate epithelium, prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) cells showed strong co-expression of AR and TOP2B. These findings implicate androgen-induced TOP2B-mediated DSB in generating TMPRSS2-ERG rearrangements.
PMCID: PMC3157086  PMID: 20601956
20.  A multigenic approach to evaluating prostate cancer risk in a systematic replication study 
Cancer genetics and cytogenetics  2008;183(2):94-98.
Although it is well known that multiple genes may influence prostate cancer risk, most current efforts at identifying prostate cancer risk variants rely on single-gene approaches. In previous work using mostly single-gene approaches, we observed significant associations (P < 0.05) for 6 of 46 polymorphisms in five genes in a Swedish prostate cancer case-control study population. We now report on the higher-order gene-gene interactions among those 46 genetic variants and the combined effect of the six polymorphisms with significant main effects for association with prostate cancer risk in 795 controls and 1,461 cases. Classification and regression tree analysis was used to evaluate higher-order gene-gene interactions. No interactions were confirmed by the result from logistic regressions. For the combined analysis, we tested the hypothesis that individuals carrying multiple copies of risk variants are at increased risk for prostate cancer. Individuals carrying more than eight copies of any risk variant were almost twofold more likely to get prostate cancer (OR = 1.99, P = 0.0014). A significant trend relationship was observed (P < 0.0001). In the present study, additive effects but not multiplicative effects among these six polymorphisms with significant main effects were observed.
PMCID: PMC2945815  PMID: 18503826
interaction; prostate cancer; association; SNPs
21.  Two independent prostate cancer risk associated loci at 11q13 
SNPs at 11q13 were recently implicated in prostate cancer risk by two genome-wide association studies and were consistently replicated in multiple study populations. To explore prostate cancer association in the regions flanking these SNPs, we genotyped 31 tagging SNPs in a ~110 kb region at 11q13 in a Swedish case-control study (CAPS), including 2,899 cases and 1,722 controls. We found evidence of prostate cancer association for the previously implicated SNPs including rs10896449, which we termed locus 1. In addition, multiple SNPs on the centromeric side of the region, including rs12418451, were also significantly associated with prostate cancer risk (termed locus 2). The two groups of SNPs were separated by a recombination hotspot. We then evaluated these two representative SNPs in an additional ~4,000 cases and ~3,000 controls from three study populations and confirmed both loci at 11q13. In the combined allelic test of all four populations, P = 4.0 × 10−11 for rs10896449 at locus 1, and P = 1.2 × 10−6 for rs12418451 at locus 2, and both remained significant after adjusting for the other locus and study population. The prostate cancer association at these two 11q13 loci was unlikely confounded by PSA detection bias because neither SNP was associated with PSA levels in controls. Unlike locus 1 where no known gene is located, several putative mRNAs are in close proximity to locus 2. Additional confirmation studies at locus 2 and functional studies for both loci are needed to advance our knowledge on the etiology of prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC2802212  PMID: 19505914
Prostate cancer; genetic; association; 11q13; fine mapping
22.  A novel prostate cancer susceptibility locus at 19q13 
Cancer research  2009;69(7):2720-2723.
A two-stage genome-wide association study (GWAS) of the Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility (CGEMS) initiative identified SNPs in 150 regions across the genome that may be associated with prostate cancer (PCa) risk. We filtered these results to identify 43 independent single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) where the frequency of the risk allele was consistently higher in cases than in controls in each of the five CGEMS study populations. Genotype information for 22 of these 43 SNPs was obtained either directly by genotyping or indirectly by imputation in our PCa GWAS of 500 cases and 500 controls selected from a population-based case-control study in Sweden (CAPS). Two of these 22 SNPs were significantly associated with PCa risk (P<0.05). We then genotyped these two SNPs in the remaining cases (N=2,393) and controls (N=1,222) from CAPS and found rs887391 at 19q13 was highly associated with PCa risk (P=9.4 × 10−4). A similar trend of association was found for this SNP in a case-control study from Johns Hopkins Hospital, albeit the result was not statistically significant. Altogether, the frequency of the risk allele of rs887391 was consistently higher in cases than controls among each of seven study populations examined, with an overall P=3.2 × 10−7 from a combined allelic test. A fine mapping study in a 110 Kb region at 19q13 among CAPS and JHH study populations revealed rs887391 was the most strongly associated SNP in the region. Additional confirmation studies of this region are warranted.
PMCID: PMC2803342  PMID: 19318570
prostate cancer; association; genetic; 19q13
23.  Fine mapping association study and functional analysis implicate a SNP in MSMB at 10q11 as a causal variant for prostate cancer risk 
Human Molecular Genetics  2009;18(7):1368-1375.
A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) at 10q11 (rs10993994) in the 5′ region of the MSMB gene was recently implicated in prostate cancer risk in two genome-wide association studies. To identify possible causal variants in the region, we genotyped 16 tagging SNPs and imputed 29 additional SNPs in ∼65 kb genomic region at 10q11 in a Swedish population-based case–control study (CAncer of the Prostate in Sweden), including 2899 cases and 1722 controls. We found evidence for two independent loci, separated by a recombination hotspot, associated with prostate cancer risk. Among multiple significant SNPs at locus 1, the initial SNP rs10993994 was most significant. Importantly, using an MSMB promoter reporter assay, we showed that the risk allele of this SNP had only 13% of the promoter activity of the wild-type allele in a prostate cancer model, LNCaP cells. Curiously, the second, novel locus (locus 2) was within NCOA4 (also known as ARA70), which is known to enhance androgen receptor transcriptional activity in prostate cancer cells. However, its association was only weakly confirmed in one of the three additional study populations. The observations that rs10993994 is the strongest associated variant in the region and its risk allele has a major effect on the transcriptional activity of MSMB, a gene with previously described prostate cancer suppressor function, together suggest the T allele of rs10993994 as a potential causal variant at 10q11 that confers increased risk of prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC2722195  PMID: 19153072
25.  Association of a germline copy number variation at 2p24.3 and risk for aggressive prostate cancer 
Cancer research  2009;69(6):2176-2179.
We searched for deletions in the germline genome among 498 aggressive prostate cancer cases and 494 controls from a population-based study in Sweden (CAPS) using Affymetrix SNP arrays. By comparing allele intensities of ∼500,000 SNP probes across the genome, a germline deletion at 2p24.3 was observed to be significantly more common in cases (12.63%) than in controls (8.28%), P=0.028. To confirm the association, we genotyped this germline copy number variation (CNV) in additional subjects from CAPS and from Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH). Overall, among 4,314 cases and 2,176 controls examined, the CNV was significantly associated with prostate cancer risk (OR = 1.25, 95% CI: 1.06-1.48, P = 0.009). More importantly, the association was stronger for aggressive prostate cancer (OR = 1.31, 95% CI: 1.08-1.58, P = 0.006) than for non-aggressive prostate cancer (OR = 1.19, 95% CI: 0.98-1.45, P = 0.08). The biologic impact of this germline CNV is unknown as no known gene resides in the deletion. Results from this study represent the first novel germline CNV that was identified from a genome-wide search and was significantly, but moderately associated with prostate cancer risk. Additional confirmation of this association and functional studies are warranted.
PMCID: PMC2743179  PMID: 19258504
Germline; CNVs; deletion; prostate cancer; association; aggressive

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