WAVE3 protein as a marker of invasiveness in prostate cancer

25 May 2010

By Sharan Sharma

Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome verprolin-homologous 3 (WAVE3) plays a pivotal role in determining the invasiveness of prostate cancer according to the study by British scientists published in May-June, 2010 issue of Urologic Oncology.

Ranked as the 4th most common malignant neoplasm worldwide, prostate cancer is the most common visceral neoplasm in men in United States.

Various previous studies have shown that WAVE proteins are essential for cell migration and inhibition of their individual function will lead to decreased invasiveness. But this study is the first one to analyse the expression patterns of WAVE. The researchers obtained prostate tissue sample from patients undergoing radical prostatectomy or Transurethral resection of Prostate (TURP). Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction of prostate cell lines and immunohistochemical staining of normal and cancer specimens for WAVE3 proteins were done. WAVE3 knockdown clones were synthesised and its impact was studied using in vitro functional assays.

The study found that WAVE3 was strongly expressed in prostate cancer cell lines compared with the prostate epithelial cell lines. When the researchers studied PC-3 and DU-145, two cell lines which are originally derived from patient with bony and brain metastasis, they found high levels of WAVE3 in both cell lines. Similarly it was shown that knockdown of WAVE3 in DU-145 and PC-3 cells significantly decreased the invasiveness of the cells through the basement membrane.

According to the authors one of the problems in treating prostate cancer today is to predict which tumours should be treated or tumours which could just be monitored without intervention. "This leads us to find some molecular markers for predicting aggressiveness of the prostate tumours" they added. They further noted in the study "WAVE3 protein could serve as one such predictor but there is a need for large study before firm conclusion can be made".