Objective: To interrogate enriched prostate cancer cells and autologous non-malignant prostate epithelial cells from men with localized prostate cancer, in order to identify early oncogenic pathways. Patients and Methods: We collected malignant and matched non-malignant prostatectomy samples from men with adenocarcinoma involving two or more contiguous areas in only one lobe of the prostate. Tissue samples from both lobes were subjected to digestion and single-cell suspensions were prepared. Epithelial cell adhesion molecule-positive cells from cancerous and contralateral non-malignant (control) samples were isolated using magnetic beads, ensuring uniform populations were obtained for each donor. Unbiased RNA sequencing analysis was used to measure gene expression and for detection of transcribed mutations or splice variants that were over- or under-represented in malignant prostate epithelial cells relative to autologous control prostate epithelial cells. Results: From five patient samples we identified 17 genes that were altered in prostate cancer epithelial cells, with 82% of genes being downregulated. Three genes, TDRD1, ANGTL4, and CLDN3, were consistently upregulated in malignant tissue. Malignant cells from three of the five patients showed evidence of upregulated ERG signalling, however, only one of these contained a TMPRSS2-ERG rearrangement. We did not identify mutations, gene rearrangements, or splice variants that were consistent amongst the patients. Conclusions: Events occurring early in prostate cancer oncogenesis in these samples were characterized by a predominant downregulation of gene expression along with upregulation of TDRD1, ANGTL4 and CLDN3. No consistent mutations or splice variants were observed, but upregulation of ERG signalling was seen both in the presence and absence of the classic TMPRSS2-ERG rearrangement.
- gene rearrangement
- prostate cancer