Background: Oxidative stress results in damage to cellular structures and has been linked to many diseases, including cancer. The authors sought to determine whether the expression of three major antioxidant enzymes, copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1), manganese superoxide dismutase (SOD2), and catalase, was altered in human prostate carcinoma and its likely precursor, high grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN). The level of reactive oxygen species damage was evaluated by measuring the expression of the DNA adduct 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine.
Methods: The authors evaluated the tissue expression of the antioxidant enzymes in prostate carcinoma by immunohistochemistry, immunogold electron microscopy, and enzymatic assay. The polymerase chain reaction was used to amplify and screen tissue specimens for the genes of SOD1, SOD2, and extracellular SOD (SOD3). Matched paraffin embedded tissue sections were evaluated by RNA in situ hybridization for expression of SOD1 and immunohistochemically for the DNA adduct 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine.
Results: All prostatic tissues, including cancer, displayed immunoreactivity for the three antioxidant enzymes in epithelial cells, with no staining of the stroma, inflammatory cells, or endothelial cells. The number of immunoreactive cells was greater in benign epithelium than in PIN and cancer for each enzyme. The mean percentage and intensity of immunoreactive cells was greatest for SOD2, intermediate for SOD1, and lower for catalase. Staining in cancer was heterogeneous. Immunogold ultrasound studies revealed strong mitochondrial labeling for SOD2, which was greater in benign epithelium than in cancer; SOD1 labeling was invariably weaker, with nuclear labeling in benign epithelium and cytoplasmic labeling in cancer cells. There was no difference in enzyme activity for the three antioxidant enzymes between benign epithelium and cancer. No mutations were found in the 5 exons of SOD1, 5 exons of SOD2, and 3 exons of SOD3, except for 3 of 20 cases with polymorphisms for exon 3 of SOD1. Intense nuclear immunoreactivity for 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine was present in fewer than 3% of epithelial cells, with no apparent differences among benign epithelium, PIN, and cancer.
Conclusions: SOD1, SOD2, and catalase had lower expression in PIN and prostate carcinoma than in benign epithelium. The number of immunoreactive cells in PIN was similar to cancer, indicating that these are closely related. Enzyme activities were variable, with no difference between benign epithelial cells and cancer, although this lack of change in enzyme activity could have been due to the presence of contaminating benign cells within the cancer specimens. The results of reactive oxygen species damage were found only in the epithelium and not in the stroma. Expression of the DNA adduct 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine was present in fewer than 3% of cells, with no apparent differences among benign epithelium, PIN, and cancer. These findings suggest that oxidative stress is an early event in carcinogenesis.
Copyright 2000 American Cancer Society.