Elevated microsatellite alterations at selected tetranucleotides (EMAST) and mismatch repair gene expression in prostate cancer

J Mol Med (Berl). 2006 Oct;84(10):833-41. doi: 10.1007/s00109-006-0074-0. Epub 2006 Aug 3.


Elevated microsatellite alterations at selected tetranucleotides (EMAST), a new form of microsatellite instability (MSI) affecting tetranucleotide repeats, was recently described to be frequent in several tumor types (e.g., bladder, lung, ovarian, and skin cancers). EMAST was found as a form of microsatellite alteration distinct from the MSI phenotype in hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC)-related tumors which mostly affects mono- and dinucleotide repeats. To date, no study has investigated the role of EMAST in prostate cancer. We therefore analyzed 81 prostate tumors using 10 markers frequently detecting EMAST in other cancer types and the National Cancer Institute-consensus panel for HNPCC detection plus BAT40. In addition, we investigated p53 gene alterations [loss of heterozygosity (LOH)] and the expression of p53 and the mismatch repair (MMR) genes hMLH1 and hMSH2 on tissue microarrays. EMAST was detected in 4/81 (5%) cases and MSI in 6/79 (7.6%) cases. LOH of p53 was found in 9/45 (20%) informative cases. There was no correlation between MSI status and the histopathological or molecular characteristics of the tumors. Immunohistochemistry revealed p53 positivity in 5/61 (8%) tumors. There was a significant correlation between tumors showing a recurrence within 3 years after treatment and p53 positivity (p=0.029). Reduced hMLH1 expression, but no complete loss, was detected in 9/41 (22%) tumors without any correlations to histopathological or clinical features. Analysis of hMSH2 expression was available from 58/81 (72%) tumors. Staining intensity was as follows: negative in 7/58 (12%), weak staining in 16/58 (27.5%) samples, moderate staining in 19/58 (33%) samples, and strong staining in 16/58 (27.5%) samples. When negative/weak staining and moderate/strong staining were considered as two groups, there was a significant association between hMSH2 expression and tumor recurrence (p=0.039). In conclusion, our data show that MSI and EMAST are infrequent but distinct patterns of MSI in prostate tumors not related to MMR defects, p53 alterations, and histopathological characteristics. p53 positivity and moderate to strong hMSH2 expression of prostate tumors are correlated with early disease recurrence and indicate an unfavorable clinical course of the disease. These two genes could be useful biomarkers for the prediction of patients' outcome and should be analyzed in prospective studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Aged
  • Carrier Proteins / analysis
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA Mismatch Repair
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Male
  • Microsatellite Instability*
  • Microsatellite Repeats / genetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • MutL Protein Homolog 1
  • MutS Homolog 2 Protein / analysis
  • MutS Homolog 2 Protein / genetics*
  • Nuclear Proteins / analysis
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / analysis
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Carrier Proteins
  • MLH1 protein, human
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • MSH2 protein, human
  • MutL Protein Homolog 1
  • MutS Homolog 2 Protein