TMPRSS2/ERG fusion gene expression alters chemo- and radio-responsiveness in cell culture models of androgen independent prostate cancer

Todd A. Swanson, Sarah A. Krueger, Sandra Galoforo, Bryan J. Thibodeau, Alvaro A. Martinez, George D. Wilson, Brian Marples

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Scopus citations


    PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES The androgen regulated transmembrane serine protease (TMPRSS2) and ETS transcription factor (ERG) gene fusion is a strong prognostic factor for disease recurrence following prostatectomy. Expression of TMPRSS2/ETS-related gene (ERG) fusion gene transcripts is linked with tumor proliferation, invasion, and an aggressive phenotype. The aim of this study was to define the effect of TMPRSS2/ERG fusion gene expression on chemo- and radiosensitivity in prostate tumor cell lines. MATERIALS/METHODS Clonogenic survival of PC3 and DU145 cells stably expressing TMPRSS2/ERG Types III and VI fusion genes was measured after X-irradiation (0-8Gy) and Paclitaxel. Cell cycle changes and DNA double-strand break induction and repair were assessed. Differential gene expression was measured by microarray analysis. ERG signaling pathway interactions were studied using Ariadne Pathway Studio. RESULTS Expression of the TMPRSS2/ERG fusions in PC3 cells increased radiation sensitivity and decreased paclitaxel sensitivity. Increased radiosensitivity was associated with persistent DNA breaks 24hr post-irradiation, down-regulation of genes involved in DNA repair and mitosis and up-regulation of ETV, an ETS transcription factor. However, DU145 Types III and VI demonstrated a different sensitivity phenotype and gene expression changes. Pathway analysis of ERG signaling further illustrated the variation between the PC3 and DU145 cell lines containing TMPRSS2/ERG fusions. CONCLUSIONS The effect of TMPRSS2/ERG gene fusions had differing effects on radiosensitivity and chemosensitivity depending on cell line and fusion type. Further work is needed with clinical samples to establish whether TMPRSS2/ERG gene fusions affect radio- and chemosensitivity in vivo.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1548-1558
    Number of pages11
    Issue number14
    StatePublished - Oct 1 2011


    • cell lines
    • paclitaxel
    • prostate
    • radiosensitivity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Oncology
    • Urology


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