Genetic and Epigenetic SLC18A2 Silencing in Prostate Cancer Is an Independent Adverse Predictor of Biochemical Recurrence after Radical Prostatectomy

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PURPOSE: This study investigates SLC18A2 (vesicular monoamine transporter 2) expression in prostate adenocarcinoma and examines its potential as a predictive marker for prostate cancer patient outcome after radical prostatectomy. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Expression and single nucleotide polymorphism microarray analyses identified SLC18A2 as both down-regulated and subject to common loss-of-heterozygosity in prostate cancer. Down-regulated SLC18A2 expression was validated on tissue microarrays containing benign and malignant prostate specimens from an independent patient group (n = 738). Furthermore, SLC18A2 immunoreactivity in radical prostatectomy tumor specimens (n = 506) was correlated to clinicopathologic characteristics and recurrence-free survival. The possibility of SLC18A2 silencing by aberrant DNA methylation in prostate cancer cells was investigated by bisulfite sequencing. RESULTS: Tissue microarray analysis revealed markedly lower cytoplasmic SLC18A2 staining in cancer compared with nonmalignant prostate tissue samples, confirming RNA expression profiling results. Furthermore, multivariate analysis identified cytoplasmic SLC18A2 immunoreactivity as a novel predictor of biochemical recurrence following prostatectomy (hazard ratio, 0.485; 95% confidence interval, 0.333-0.709; P < 0.001) independent of prostate-specific antigen, Gleason score, tumor stage, and surgical margin status. SLC18A2 showed loss-of-heterozygosity in 23% of the tumors and was densely hypermethylated in 15 of 17 (88%) prostate cancer samples plus 6 of 6 prostate cancer cell lines. In contrast, SLC18A2 was unmethylated in 4 of 4 adjacent nonmalignant prostate and 3 of 5 benign prostatic hyperplasia tissue samples, whereas 2 of 5 benign prostatic hyperplasia samples had monoallelic hypermethylation. Methylation and histone deacetylase inhibitory agents rescued SLC18A2 expression in three prostate cancer cell lines. CONCLUSIONS: SLC18A2 silencing by DNA hypermethylation and/or allelic loss is a frequent event in prostate cancer and a novel independent predictor of biochemical recurrence after prostatectomy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Pages (from-to)1400-1410
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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