Journal Article

Altered Expression of RET Proto-oncogene Product in Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia and Prostate Cancer

Dawn M. Dawson, Earl G. Lawrence, Theresa P. Pretlow, Gregory T. MacLennan, Thomas G. Pretlow, Saeid B. Amini, Martin I. Resnick, Elroy D. Kursh, Hsing-Jien Kung and Dan Robinson

in JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Published on behalf of National Cancer Institute

Volume 90, issue 7, pages 519-523
Published in print April 1998 | ISSN: 0027-8874
Published online April 1998 | e-ISSN: 1460-2105 | DOI:
Altered Expression of RET Proto-oncogene Product in Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia and Prostate Cancer

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Background: The RET proto-oncogene encodes a protein that belongs to the tyrosine kinase growth factor receptor family. Germline point mutations in RET are found in individuals with multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) syndromes, and gene rearrangements have been reported in papillary thyroid cancers. We recently identified transcripts of the RET proto-oncogene in human prostate cancer xenografts and prostate cancer cell lines by means of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analyses. The purpose of this study was to investigate Ret protein expression in human prostate tissue. Methods: Ret protein expression was evaluated immunohistochemically in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded whole-prostate sections. The prostate specimens were obtained from 30 patients with prostate cancer after radical prostatectomies. Ret protein expression was compared in tumor foci and benign prostatic tissue. Medullary thyroid carcinoma tissue associated with an MEN syndrome and papillary thyroid cancer tissue served as positive controls. Results: Ret appeared to be overexpressed in high-grade (histopathologically advanced) prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) and prostate cancer when compared with its expression level in benign prostatic secretory epithelium. In addition, there was an apparent increase in Ret protein expression with decreased cellular differentiation, i.e., increasing Gleason pattern. Conclusion: Expression of the RET protooncogene in benign prostatic epithelium, high-grade PIN, and histopathologically advanced prostate cancer suggests that RET may play a role in the growth of both benign and neoplastic prostate epithelial cells.

Journal Article.  3188 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology

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