Monocarboxylate transporter 2 (MCT2) as putative biomarker in prostate cancer

Prostate. 2013 May;73(7):763-9. doi: 10.1002/pros.22620. Epub 2012 Nov 28.


Background: Monocarboxylate transporter 2 (MCT2) is a transmembrane protein involved in the transport of monocarboxylates such as pyruvate and lactate. In a previous study we described overexpression of MCT2 in prostate carcinoma raising the hypothesis of using MCT2 as a possible biomarker in prostate cancer. With the present study we aimed to compare the pattern of expression of MCT2 and alpha-methylacyl-CoA racemase (AMACR), in prostate carcinoma, PIN lesions, non-neoplastic prostate tissue, and normal prostate and compare their sensitivity and specificity. Also, we wanted to evaluate the value of using MCT2 in combination with AMACR and the negative markers 34βE12 or p63 to detect prostate cancer.

Methods: A total of 349 cases, including prostate carcinoma, non-neoplastic prostate tissue and PIN lesions, from radical prostatectomies were examined by immunohistochemistry for AMACR, MCT2, p63, and 34βE12, using tissue microarrays (TMAs). Normal prostate from radical cystoprostatectomy was also studied.

Results: Our study revealed that MCT2, similarly to AMACR, was consistently expressed in prostate cancer regardless of the Gleason score. In combination with AMACR and p63 or 34βE12, MCT2 helped to improve the diagnosis of prostate carcinoma. Also, overexpression of MCT2 as well as AMACR in PIN lesions may indicate the involvement of these two proteins in prostate cancer initiation.

Conclusions: We provided evidence for the presence of MCT2 in prostate cancer, selectively labeling malignant glands. Importantly, assessment of MCT2 together with AMACR, along with the negative markers, highly increases the accuracy in prostate cancer diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Monocarboxylic Acid Transporters / metabolism*
  • Prostate / metabolism*
  • Prostate / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Protein Array Analysis
  • Racemases and Epimerases / metabolism*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Biomarkers
  • Monocarboxylic Acid Transporters
  • SLC16A7 protein, human
  • Racemases and Epimerases
  • alpha-methylacyl-CoA racemase