Background: Alterations of important protein pathways, including loss of prostate secretory granules, and disruption of the prostatic secretory pathway have been identified as early events in malignancy. In this study, proteomics was used to map the differences in protein expression between normal and malignant prostate tissues and to identify and analyze differentially expressed proteins in human prostate tissue with particular regard to the proteins lost in malignancy.
Methods: Small quantities of normal and malignant prostate tissue were taken fresh from 34 radical prostatectomy cases. After histological examination, proteins were solubilized from selected tissues and separated using two-dimensional electrophoresis. Using image analysis, the proteome of normal and malignant tissues were mapped and differentially expressed proteins (present in normal and absent in malignant tissue) were identified and subsequently analyzed using peptide mass finger printing and N-terminal sequencing. Western blotting and immunohistochemistry were performed to examine expression profiles and tissue localization of candidate proteins.
Results: Comparison of protein maps of normal and malignant prostate were used to identify 20 proteins which were lost in malignant transformation, including prostate specific antigen (PSA), alpha-1 antichymotrypsin (ACT), haptoglobin, and lactoylglutathione lyase. Three of the 20 had not previously been reported in human prostate tissue (Ubiquitin-like NEDD8, calponin, and a follistatin-related protein). Western blotting confirmed differences in the expression profiles of NEDD8 and calponin, and immunohistochemistry demonstrated differences in the cellular localization of these two proteins in normal and malignant prostate glands.
Conclusions: The expression of NEDD8, calponin, and the follistatin-related protein in normal prostate tissues is a novel finding and the role of these important functional proteins in normal prostate and their loss or reduced expression in prostate malignancy warrants further investigations.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.