News Release

Proteins reveal new mechanisms in prostate cancer

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Tampere University

A study by the University of Tampere in Finland used protein profiling to find new prostate cancer mechanisms that are not shown by aberrations at the genomic level. Several new potential biomarkers of prostate cancer were also found.

Genes that affect prostate cancer evolution have been studied for a long time. However, changes in the protein levels are not well known.

The Center for Prostate Cancer Research and the Center for Proteomics and Personalized Medicine at the University of Tampere cooperated to profile the protein expression of prostate cancer by using mass spectrometry for the first time. The researchers compared protein expression to genomic and messenger RNAs in the same samples.

The result was that the changes in gene copy numbers and DNA methylation largely explain messenger RNA expression but not the changes on the protein level. The association between messenger RNA expression and protein levels was also weak. The study thus uncovered such mechanisms of prostate cancer that are not indicated by the alterations at the genomic level.

"In particular, changes in the citric acid cycle emerged in our analyzes," Adjunct Professor Leena Latonen says.

"The results enable exploring the significance of these changes," Latonen continues.

In addition to the disease mechanisms, protein profiling revealed several potential new biomarkers.

According to Professor Tapio Visakorpi, biomarkers able to recognize the aggressive forms of prostate cancer would be especially useful. That is one of the aspects on which the researchers will focus next.


The research was published in Nature Communications, one of the leading journals in the field. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03573-6

For further information, please contact:

Professor Tapio Visakorpi, +358 50 318 5829, Adjunct Professor Leena Latonen, +358 50 318 5809,

University of Tampere Press Release, 21 March 2018

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.