Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Cancer and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Differential expression of anterior gradient gene AGR2 in prostate cancer

Erin L Maresh1, Vei Mah1, Mohammad Alavi1, Steve Horvath23, Lora Bagryanova, Emily S Liebeskind45, Laura A Knutzen6, Yong Zhou6, David Chia17, Alvin Y Liu45 and Lee Goodglick17*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, 10833 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA

2 Department of Biostatistics, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, 10833 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA

3 Department of Human Genetics, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, 10833 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA

4 Department of Urology, University of Washington, 1959 NE Pacific St., Seattle, WA 98195, USA

5 Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, University of Washington, 1959 NE Pacific St., Seattle, WA 98195, USA

6 Institute for Systems Biology, University of Washington, 1959 NE Pacific St., Seattle, WA 98195, USA

7 Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, 10833 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Cancer 2010, 10:680  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-680

Published: 13 December 2010

Abstract

Background

The protein AGR2 is a putative member of the protein disulfide isomerase family and was first identified as a homolog of the Xenopus laevis gene XAG-2. AGR2 has been implicated in a number of human cancers. In particular, AGR2 has previously been found to be one of several genes that encode secreted proteins showing increased expression in prostate cancer cells compared to normal prostatic epithelium.

Methods

Gene expression levels of AGR2 were examined in prostate cancer cells by microarray analysis. We further examined the relationship of AGR2 protein expression to histopathology and prostate cancer outcome on a population basis using tissue microarray technology.

Results

At the RNA and protein level, there was an increase in AGR2 expression in adenocarcinoma of the prostate compared to morphologically normal prostatic glandular epithelium. Using a tissue microarray, this enhanced AGR2 expression was seen as early as premalignant PIN lesions. Interestingly, within adenocarcinoma samples, there was a slight trend toward lower levels of AGR2 with increasing Gleason score. Consistent with this, relatively lower levels of AGR2 were highly predictive of disease recurrence in patients who had originally presented with high-stage primary prostate cancer (P = 0.009).

Conclusions

We have shown for the first time that despite an increase in AGR2 expression in prostate cancer compared to non-malignant cells, relatively lower levels of AGR2 are highly predictive of disease recurrence following radical prostatectomy.