Increased expression of NuSAP in recurrent prostate cancer is mediated by E2F1

Oncogene. 2013 Jan 3;32(1):70-7. doi: 10.1038/onc.2012.27. Epub 2012 Feb 20.


Increasing evidence suggests that prostate cancer is overdiagnosed and overtreated, and prognostic biomarkers would aid in treatment selection. To define prognostic biomarkers for aggressive prostate cancer, we carried out gene-expression profiling of 98 prostate tumors and 52 benign adjacent prostate tissue samples with detailed clinical annotation. We identified 28 transcripts significantly associated with recurrence after radical prostatectomy including NuSAP, a protein that binds DNA to the mitotic spindle. Elevated NuSAP transcript levels were associated with poor outcome in two independent prostate cancer gene-expression datasets. To characterize the role and regulation of NuSAP in prostate cancer, we studied the expression of NuSAP in the LNCaP and PC3 human prostate cancer cell lines. Posttranscriptional silencing of the NuSAP gene severely hampered the ability of PC3 to invade and proliferate in vitro. The promoter region of the NuSAP gene contains two CCAAT boxes and binding sites for E2F. Transient transfection of an E2F1 cDNA and 431 bp of the NuSAP promoter demonstrated E2F1 as an important regulator of expression. Deletion of the E2F-binding site at nucleotide -246 negated the effects of E2F1 on NuSAP expression. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrated that nuclear extracts of cells overexpressing E2F1 bound directly to the E2F-binding site in the NuSAP promoter region. Finally, immunohistochemistry showed a strong correlation between E2F1 and NuSAP expression in human prostate cancer samples. NuSAP is a novel biomarker for prostate cancer recurrence after surgery and its overexpression appears to be driven in part by E2F1 activation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • DNA, Complementary
  • E2F1 Transcription Factor / genetics
  • E2F1 Transcription Factor / physiology*
  • Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Recurrence


  • DNA, Complementary
  • E2F1 Transcription Factor
  • E2F1 protein, human
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • NUSAP1 protein, human
  • RNA, Messenger