Defects in mismatch repair (MMR) proteins have been identified in various types of cancer. However, an association with prostate cancer has been controversial. Defective MMR results in genome instability with detrimental consequences that significantly contribute to tumorigenesis. This study determined alterations in key MMR protein levels in prostate cancer with the goal to identify prognostic markers.METHODS.
Prostatectomy samples were immunohistochemically stained and the relative presence or absence of key proteins MSH2, MLH1, and PMS2 determined. Cancer tissue of distinct grades was compared with the normal surrounding tissue. Microsatellite instability (MSI) in altered tissues was determined according to NCI guidelines.RESULTS.
In contrast to reports that associate a lack of individual MMR proteins with tumorigenesis, a significant increase in PMS2 levels was identified in PIN lesions and prostate cancer tissue. This elevation in PMS2 was independent of changes in levels in its heterodimeric partner, MLH1. Prostate tumors with elevated levels of PMS2 were genetically unstable, which was corrected by MLH1 co-elevation.CONCLUSIONS.
This is the first documentation of detrimental consequences associated with the increase in a MMR protein in human cancer. This study recognizes PMS2 elevation as a prognostic marker in pre-neoplastic and prostate cancer lesions. This result has significant implications for future diagnostic and treatment measures.