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Oncogene. 2005 Mar 24;24(13):2166-74.

Epigenetic inactivation of the human sprouty2 (hSPRY2) homologue in prostate cancer.

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  • 1Urology Research Group, Northern Institute for Cancer Research, The Medical School, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4AD, UK.


Abnormal signalling events mediated by receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) contribute to human carcinogenesis. Sprouty2 (Spry2) is a key antagonistic regulator of RTK signalling and suppression of its expression or function may facilitate proliferation and angiogenesis. Using prostate cancer (CaP) as a model, we investigated the significance of Spry2 in human malignancy. We observed downregulated Spry2 expression in invasive CaP cell lines and high-grade clinical CaP (compared to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and well-differentiated tumours, P=0.041). A large CpG island is associated with hSPRY2, and extensive hypermethylation of this CpG island was observed in 76-82% of high-grade CaP, while control BPH tissues were predominantly unmethylated (P=0.0005). Furthermore, suppressed Spry2 expression correlated with methylation of the CpG region in clinical samples (P=0.004) and treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine reactivated Spry2 expression in LNCaP and PC-3M cells. hSPRY2 maps to the long arm of chromosome 13 (13q31.1), where loss of heterozygosity (LOH) has been reported. We found no evidence of mutation; however, we demonstrated 27-40% LOH using flanking markers to hSPRY2. Hence, while biallelic epigenetic inactivation of hSPRY2 represents the main genetic event in prostate carcinogenesis, the observed 27-40% LOH presents evidence of hemizygous deletion with the remaining allele hypermethylated. We therefore propose hSPRY2 as a potential tumour suppressor locus in CaP.

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