Mutations in mtRNA associated with increased PSA and prostate cancer
Innsbruck – Austrian researchers have uncovered mutations throughout the mitochondrial genome that are associated with prostate cancer (Am. J. Human Genetics, 2 December). mtRNA mutations identified by a team headed by Dr. Anita Kloss-Brandstätter from Innsbruck Medical University, were found to be associated with elevated levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in Austrian men diagnosed with various stages of prostate cancer. The group used a high-quality sequencing approach to detect differences in mtDNA sequence between cancerous and noncancerous tissue from the same 30 men."It is the first study targeting the entire mitochondrial genome in prostate cancer and benign tissue from the same patient with a superior sequencing strategy,"notes Dr. Kloss-Brandstätter By examining both the frequency and types of somatic mtDNA mutations in prostate cancer patients, Dr. Kloss-Brandstätter and colleagues were able to identify several genetic changes having clinical significance. They suggest that,"sequencing of selected mitochondrial regions will likely result in a mutation spectrum useful for prognosis."Perhaps the most striking finding of the study is the association between somatic mtRNA mutations and PSA levels at diagnosis. "Patients with a somatic tRNA mutation had a significantly higher PSA value at diagnosis than did patients without a somatic mtRNA mutation," explains Dr. Kloss-Brandstätter."These findings will potentially help others monitor malignant transformation, tumor progression, and metastasis,"she says.