Indexed on: 26 Jun '14Published on: 26 Jun '14Published in: Tumor Biology
The Ets-related gene fusions are among the most common molecular alterations in prostate cancer (PCa) and are detected in more than 50 % of PCas. Transmembrane protease serine 2 and Ets-related gene fusion (TMPRSS2-ERG) is the most frequently identified chimeric gene and has been associated with undifferentiated and invasive phenotypes. TMPRSS2-ERG has also been detected in prostate intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) lesions and more rarely in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) regions mainly in PCa-bearing glands. The possibility that the fusion TMPRSS2-ERG may be present in BPH samples in the absence of apparent PCa was addressed. Out of 115 BPH samples, three were found positive employing RT-PCR. The presence of the fusion gene was confirmed by FISH for these samples, and an additional four samples were found to carry the TMPRSS2-ERG fusion out of 43 tested by the later approach. The presence of the TMPRSS2-ERG fusion did not result in altered expression of 12 putative downstream targets. These findings indicate that TMPRSS2-ERG may or may not lead to PCa development.