Detection of TMPRSS2: ERG fusion gene in circulating prostate cancer cells

Xueying Mao, Greg Shaw, Sharon Y. James, Patricia Purkis, Sakunthala C. Kudahetti, Theodora Tsigani, Saname Kia, Bryan D. Young, R. Tim D Oliver, Dan Berney, David M. Prowse, Yong Jie Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
181 Downloads (Pure)


Aim: To investigate the existence of TMPRSS2:ERG fusion gene in circulating tumor cells (CTC) from prostate cancer patients and its potential in monitoring tumor metastasis. Methods: We analyzed the frequency of TMPRSS2: ERG and TMPRSS2:ETV1 transcripts in 27 prostate cancer biopsies from prostatectomies, and TMPRSS2:ERG transcripts in CTC isolated from 15 patients with advanced androgen independent disease using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was applied to analyze the genomic truncation of ERG, which is the result of TMPRSS2:ERG fusion in 10 of the 15 CTC samples. Results: TMPRSS2: ERG transcripts were found in 44% of our samples, but we did not detect expression of TMPRSS2:ETV1. Using FISH analysis we detected chromosomal rearrangements affecting the ERG gene in 6 of 10 CTC samples, including 1 case with associated TMPRSS2:ERG fusion at the primary site. However, TMPRSS2:ERG transcripts were not detected in any of the 15 CTC samples, including the 10 cases analyzed by FISH. Conclusion: Although further study is required to address the association between TMPRSS2:ERG fusion and prostate cancer metastasis, detection of genomic truncation of the ERG gene by FISH analysis could be useful for monitoring the appearance of CTC and the potential for prostate cancer metastasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-473
Number of pages7
JournalAsian Journal of Andrology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2008


  • Circulating tumor cells
  • Fluorescence in situ hybridization
  • Fusion gene
  • Metastasis
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • Prostate cancer


Dive into the research topics of 'Detection of TMPRSS2: ERG fusion gene in circulating prostate cancer cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this