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Fatty acid synthase gene overexpression and copy number gain in prostate adenocarcinoma

Uzma S Shah, Rajiv Dhir, Susanne M Gollin, Uma R Chandran, Dale Lewis, Marie Acquafondata, Beth R Pflug
Human Pathology 2006, 37 (4): 401-9
16564913
Cancer cells frequently exhibit a significant increase in overexpression and activity of fatty acid synthase (FASN). Elevated FASN pathway activity also occurs in prostate cancer, the second leading cause of cancer-related death in men in the United States. Studies show that genes associated with an increase in protein expression, such as HER2/neu in breast cancer, are associated with an increase in gene copy number as well as an increase in transcription. In the present study, we evaluated whether FASN follows a similar paradigm in prostate cancer. To date, elevated FASN expression in prostate cancer has not been correlated with gene copy number alterations. Using immunohistochemistry and fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis in paraffin-embedded tissue microarrays, we observed gene copy gain in 24% of all prostate adenocarcinoma specimens examined with concurrent increased FASN protein expression. Immunohistochemistry alone showed 59% of prostate cancer specimens in the same tissue microarray with high FASN expression. Increased FASN gene was observed in 53% of all prostate tissues expressing elevated FASN protein levels and in 2 of 5 prostate tumor cell lines tested. These findings suggest that FASN gene copy number increases may be involved in the resultant increase in FASN protein expression observed in prostatic disease.

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