Prostate cancer is the leading cause of mortality in North-American men and as a result many are forced to the clinic for some rather invasive biopsies, but thanks to some cool epigenetics involving lncRNAs, those once dreaded trips to the doctor’s office may soon be replaced a much less invasive urine test. Ranjan Perera and crew from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Orlando) have turned some extensive lncRNA characterization into a biomarker screen for an early detection of prostate cancer. By examining the complex lncRNA-omics they noticed a distinct profile:
- Several lncRNAs that are present in both prostate cancer cell lines and patients samples.
- Homing in on six of the lncRNAs (AK024556, XLOC_007697, LOC100287482, XLOC_005327, XLOC_008559, and XLOC_009911) they noticed that in addition to the more traditional biopsy the markers also held true in the much more easily obtained urine samples (when compared to matched controls).
- A clinical screening assay was then developed based on Chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH).
Noting some of cancers famous heterogeneity, they observed that the LncRNA AK024556 (SPRY4- IT1) was highly upregulated in one human prostate cancer cell line (PC3), but not in another (LNCaP). By using some siRNA knock-down of SPRY4-IT1 in the PC3 cells, they noted inhibitions to cell proliferation and invasion and in increase in the ever so desired cell apoptosis. Ultimately the team”believe[s] that these results will set the stage for more extensive studies to develop novel lncRNA-based diagnostic assays for early prostate cancer detection, and will help to distinguish benign prostate cancer from precancerous lesions” at a fraction of the pain. Learn more about how non-invasive peripheral tissue screening can pave the way for molecular diagnostics at Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, November 2014