Background: The PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway is central to prostate cancer progression. A preliminary investigation of immuno-histochemical expression of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway markers was undertaken to identify patterns of expression in prostate tissue.
Methods: Immunohistochemistry was performed on a custom-made prostate tissue array. Mean long scores and variability of long scores for each marker were recorded for normal lumenal cells, prostate intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN), and cancer.
Results: Expression of PTEN decreased and mTOR signaling pathway markers increased in PIN and in cancer as compared to normal cells in the majority of samples. Overexpression of 4E-BP1 and p-4E-BP1 was observed in PIN and cancer. However, in cancer, the overexpression of 4E-BP1 was significantly higher than with any other marker.
Discussion: Results suggest that 4E-BP1 overexpression is strongly associated with prostate cancer, especially when combined with PTEN and mTOR expression data. Hierarchical clustering analysis utilizing PTEN, mTOR, and 4E-BP1 separated normal from cancer cell populations in most cases.
(c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.