Modern pathology : an official journal of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, Inc

The important role of glycine N-methyltransferase in the carcinogenesis and progression of prostate cancer.

PMID 21572396


Glycine N-methyltransferase (GNMT) has a role in the metabolism of methionine as well as in gluconeogenesis. It has recently been reported that the GNMT gene acts as a tumor-susceptible gene. However, little is known about the specific function of GNMT in carcinogenesis and malignant progression. To better our understanding of the function of GNMT in prostate cancer, we used siRNAs to examine the effects of GNMT knockdown on cell proliferation and the cell cycle. In addition, the relation between immunohistochemical GNMT expression and clinicopathologic parameters was investigated in 148 prostate cancer tissues. Here, we show that siRNA-mediated GNMT knockdown results in an inhibition of proliferation, and induces G1 arrest and apoptosis in prostate cancer cell lines. Moreover, high cytoplasmic GNMT expression was also correlated with a higher Gleason score (P<0.001) and higher pT stage (P=0.027). The patients with high GNMT cytoplasmic expression showed significantly lower disease-free survival rates than patients with low expression (P<0.001). High GNMT cytoplasmic expression had a significant impact on patient disease-free survival in multivariate analysis (P=0.005). This is the first investigation to reveal the novel finding that GNMT may have an important role in promoting prostate cancer cell growth via the regulation of apoptosis and contribute to the progression of prostate cancer. The modulation of GNMT expression or function may be a strategy for developing novel therapeutics for prostate cancer. GNMT may represent a novel marker of malignant progression and poor prognosis in prostate cancer.