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Oncogene. 2004 Dec 2;23(56):9034-41.

Prostate cancer is characterized by epigenetic silencing of 14-3-3sigma expression.

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Molecular Oncology, Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry, Am Klopferspitz 18, D-82152 Martinsried/Munich, Germany.


In order to identify tumor suppressive genes silenced by CpG methylation in prostate carcinoma (PCa), we determined genome-wide expression changes after pharmacological reversal of CpG methylation-mediated transcriptional repression in three PCa cell lines using microarray analysis. Thereby, epigenetic silencing of the 14-3-3sigma gene was detected in the cell line LNCaP. 14-3-3sigma encodes a p53-regulated inhibitor of cell cycle progression. Laser microdissection was used to isolate different cell types present in diseased prostatic tissue. Subsequent methylation-specific PCR analysis showed CpG methylation of 14-3-3sigma in all 41 primary PCa samples analysed, which was accompanied by a decrease or loss of 14-3-3sigma protein expression. In contrast, normal prostate epithelial and benign prostate hyperplasia cells showed high levels of 14-3-3sigma expression. PCa-precursor lesions (prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia) also displayed decreased levels of 14-3-3sigma expression in luminal cells, which are known to contain shortened telomeres. RNA interference-mediated inactivation of 14-3-3sigma compromised a DNA damage-induced G(2)/M arrest in the PCa cell line PC3. The generality of CpG methylation and downregulation of 14-3-3sigma expression in PCa suggests that it significantly contributes to the formation of PCa, potentially by allowing the escape from a DNA damage-induced arrest elicited by telomere shortening.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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