Molecular genetic analyses of the TMPRSS2-ERG and TMPRSS2-ETV1 gene fusions in 50 cases of prostate cancer

Oncol Rep. 2007 May;17(5):1033-6.


Recently, gene fusions between the androgen responsive gene TMPRSS2 and members of the ETS-family of DNA-binding transcription factor genes were found in prostate cancer. Recurrent fusions were identified between the 5'-noncoding region of TMPRSS2 and ERG, or less frequently ETV1 or ETV4, resulting in overexpression of normal or truncated ETS-proteins. Herein, we have analyzed a series of 50 prostate cancer samples for expression of TPRSS2-ERG and TMPRSS2-ETV1 fusion transcripts. RT-PCR analysis revealed TMPRSS2-ERG fusion transcripts in 18 of the 50 tumors (36%). None of the tumors expressed a TMPRSS2-ETV1 fusion. Our findings show that the TMPRSS2-ERG fusion is common in prostate cancer and that the related TMPRSS2-ETV1 fusion is very rare. However, the frequency of ERG-fusions in the present study is somewhat lower than previously observed, indicating heterogeneity with regard to expression of ETS-gene fusions in subsets of prostate cancers. Moreover, clinical follow-up studies showed a clear tendency that fusion-positive tumors were associated with lower Gleason grade and better survival than fusion-negative tumors. Our findings suggest that ERG gene fusions might be of prognostic significance in prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Gene Fusion
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion / genetics*
  • Prognosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • ETV1 protein, human
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion
  • TMPRSS2-ERG fusion protein, human
  • Transcription Factors