Background: Prostate cancer (CaP) is one of the most common neoplasms in the USA and Europe. We used differential display PCR (DD-PCR) to identify genes related to the development of prostate cancer.
Methods: The RNA of 4 patients with untreated CaP was analyzed for differentially expressed genes. Using DD-PCR, we identified a downregulated cDNA-fragment in these prostate cancer cells. This fragment (N7) was cloned and further analyzed by CMRT-PCR, Northern-blot analysis, and in situ hybridization.
Results: Sequence analysis revealed that N7 is identical to the 3'-untranslated region of the recently described immediate early gene Cyr61. Comparative multiplex RT-PCR with sequence specific primers showed that Cyr61 is downregulated in the tumor tissue of 7 out of 13 patients. By in situ hybridization we could demonstrate that the expression of Cyr61 is restricted to the epithelium of the prostate. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that Cyr61 protein could be found in the epithelium of normal prostatic tissue, whereas prostate cancer tissue showed a marked decrease of Cyr61 protein expression.
Conclusions: Cyr61 is a member of the emerging family of extracellular signaling proteins and enhances the effect of bFGF. The changed pattern of expression Cyr61 might therefore contribute to the altered interactions between epithelial and stromal cells in prostate carcinoma.