SLC45A3-ELK4 is a novel and frequent erythroblast transformation-specific fusion transcript in prostate cancer.

TitleSLC45A3-ELK4 is a novel and frequent erythroblast transformation-specific fusion transcript in prostate cancer.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsRickman DS, Pflueger D, Moss B, VanDoren VE, Chen CX, de la Taille A, Kuefer R, Tewari AK, Setlur SR, Demichelis F, Rubin MA
JournalCancer Res
Date Published2009 Apr 1
KeywordsCell Line, Tumor, Chromosome Deletion, Chromosomes, Human, Pair 1, Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic, Humans, In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence, Male, Metribolone, Oncogene Proteins, Fusion, Prostatic Neoplasms, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ets, RNA, Messenger, Testosterone Congeners, Transcription, Genetic

Chromosomal rearrangements account for all erythroblast transformation-specific (ETS) family member gene fusions that have been reported in prostate cancer and have clinical, diagnostic, and prognostic implications. Androgen-regulated genes account for the majority of the 5' genomic regulatory promoter elements fused with ETS genes. TMPRSS2-ERG, TMPRSS2-ETV1, and SLC45A3-ERG rearrangements account for roughly 90% of ETS fusion prostate cancer. ELK4, another ETS family member, is androgen regulated, involved in promoting cell growth, and highly expressed in a subset of prostate cancer, yet the mechanism of ELK4 overexpression is unknown. In this study, we identified a novel ETS family fusion transcript, SLC45A3-ELK4, and found it to be expressed in both benign prostate tissue and prostate cancer. We found high levels of SLC45A3-ELK4 mRNA restricted to a subset of prostate cancer samples. SLC45A3-ELK4 transcript can be detected at high levels in urine samples from men at risk for prostate cancer. Characterization of the fusion mRNA revealed a major variant in which SLC45A3 exon 1 is fused to ELK4 exon 2. Based on quantitative PCR analyses of DNA, unlike other ETS fusions described in prostate cancer, the expression of SLC45A3-ELK4 mRNA is not exclusive to cases harboring a chromosomal rearrangement. Treatment of LNCaP cancer cells with a synthetic androgen (R1881) revealed that SLC45A3-ELK4, and not endogenous ELK4, mRNA expression is androgen regulated. Altogether, our findings show that SLC45A3-ELK4 mRNA expression is heterogeneous, highly induced in a subset of prostate cancers, androgen regulated, and most commonly occurs through a mechanism other than chromosomal rearrangement (e.g., trans-splicing).

Alternate JournalCancer Res.
PubMed ID19293179
PubMed Central IDPMC4063441
Grant ListR01 CA125612 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
R01 CA125612-01 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States