A number of genetic changes have been documented in prostate cancer, ranging from allelic loss to point mutations and changes in DNA methylation patterns (summarized in Fig. 1). The most consistent changes seen are those of allelic loss events, with the majority of tumours examined showing loss of alleles from at least one chromosomal arm. The short arm of chromosome 8, followed by the long arm of chromosome 16, seem to be the most frequent regions of loss, suggesting the presence of novel tumour suppressor genes. Deletions of one copy of the RB and TP53 genes are less frequent as are mutations of the TP53 gene, and accumulating evidence suggests the presence of an additional tumour suppressor gene on chromosome 17p, which is frequently inactivated in prostate cancer. Alterations in the E-cadherin/alpha catenin mediated cell-cell adhesion mechanism appear to be present in almost half of all prostate cancers and may be critical to the acquisition of metastatic potential of aggressive prostate cancers. Finally, altered DNA methylation patterns have been found in the majority of prostate cancers examined, suggesting widespread alterations in methylation modulated gene expression. The presence of multiple changes in these tumours is consistent with the multistep nature of the transformation process. Finally, efforts to identify prostate cancer susceptibility loci are under way, which may elucidate critical early events in prostatic carcinogenesis.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995RH96200003
View details for PubMedID 7621457