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Biological markers of prostate cancer shed light on cancer burden faced by African-American men
Date:11/29/2007

te cancer cells from 50 African-American and Caucasian men, aged 50 to 60, matched so that each group comprised similar tumor grades. Using DNA sequencing and screening techniques to determine the genetic activity of these tumor cells, the researchers demonstrated the increased production of heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein H1 (hnRNP-H1) and scaffold attachment factor B2 (SAFB-2) in African-American men as opposed to Caucasians.

In addition to their role as potential blood-borne biomarkers for disease screening, the researchers are excited by the role these proteins play in chemical pathways that control disease progression. Both of these genes share many structural and functional similarities, including possession of messenger RNA binding sites that could allow them to regulate how other genes are read from the DNA, said Abdel-Mageed.

Through related means, Abdel-Mageed says, these proteins are somehow involved in the relationship between hormones and prostate cancer progression. The researchers determined that hnRNP-H1 protein, in particular, binds to and activates the androgen receptor (AR), a nuclear protein that serves as an intermediate that allows male hormones from the bloodstream, such as testosterone, to activate genes encoded in the DNA. Testosterone and other hormones have been shown to influence prostate cancer growth, Abdel-Mageed says.

Similarly, SAFB-2 was shown to have a role in regulation of hormone-related genes. Based on these data, we believe their selective expression may represent a novel a mechanism for disease progression and development of hormone refractory disease in African Americans, said Abdel-Mageed.


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Contact: Greg Lester
greg.lester@aacr.org
267-646-0554
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert

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