Genome-wide copy number analysis reveals candidate gene loci that confer susceptibility to high-grade prostate cancer

Urol Oncol. 2017 Sep;35(9):545.e1-545.e11. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2017.04.017. Epub 2017 May 17.


Background: Two key issues in prostate cancer (PCa) that demand attention currently are the need for a more precise and minimally invasive screening test owing to the inaccuracy of prostate-specific antigen and differential diagnosis to distinguish advanced vs. indolent cancers. This continues to pose a tremendous challenge in diagnosis and prognosis of PCa and could potentially lead to overdiagnosis and overtreatment complications. Copy number variations (CNVs) in the human genome have been linked to various carcinomas including PCa. Detection of these variants may improve clinical treatment as well as an understanding of the pathobiology underlying this complex disease.

Methods: To this end, we undertook a pilot genome-wide CNV analysis approach in 36 subjects (18 patients with high-grade PCa and 18 controls that were matched by age and ethnicity) in search of more accurate biomarkers that could potentially explain susceptibility toward high-grade PCa. We conducted this study using the array comparative genomic hybridization technique. Array results were validated in 92 independent samples (46 high-grade PCa, 23 benign prostatic hyperplasia, and 23 healthy controls) using polymerase chain reaction-based copy number counting method.

Results: A total of 314 CNV regions were found to be unique to PCa subjects in this cohort (P<0.05). A log2 ratio-based copy number analysis revealed 5 putative rare or novel CNV loci or both associated with susceptibility to PCa. The CNV gain regions were 1q21.3, 15q15, 7p12.1, and a novel CNV in PCa 12q23.1, harboring ARNT, THBS1, SLC5A8, and DDC genes that are crucial in the p53 and cancer pathways. A CNV loss and deletion event was observed at 8p11.21, which contains the SFRP1 gene from the Wnt signaling pathway. Cross-comparison analysis with genes associated to PCa revealed significant CNVs involved in biological processes that elicit cancer pathogenesis via cytokine production and endothelial cell proliferation.

Conclusion: In conclusion, we postulated that the CNVs identified in this study could provide an insight into the development of advanced PCa.

Keywords: Copy number variation; Genome-wide analysis; Prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • DNA Copy Number Variations / genetics*
  • Genetic Loci / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology