Protocols for Studies on TMPRSS2/ERG in Prostate Cancer


Hubert Pakula, Douglas E Linn, Daniel R Schmidt, Marit Van Gorsel, Matthew G Vander Heiden, and Zhe Li. 2018. “Protocols for Studies on TMPRSS2/ERG in Prostate Cancer.” Methods Mol Biol, 1786, Pp. 131-151.


TMPRSS2/ERG is the most common type of gene fusions found in human prostate cancer. There are two important features of TMPRSS2/ERG fusions. One is that these gene fusions lead to ectopic expression of ERG, an ETS family transcription factor, in prostate epithelial cells from the 5' control region of an androgen/estrogen dual-responsive gene, TMPRSS2; the other is that ~60% of these fusions are generated via intrachromosomal deletion of the interstitial region between TMPRSS2 and ERG. To recapitulate these important aspects of TMPRSS2/ERG fusions, we generated several TMPRSS2/ERG knockin mouse models based on the endogenous Tmprss2 locus. We found that TMPRSS2/ERG represents an early event in prostate tumorigenesis, by sensitizing prostate cells for cooperation with other oncogenic events, such as PTEN-deficiency. We also found that the interstitial region between TMPRSS2 and ERG harbors at least one prostate tumor suppressor, ETS2, whose loss contributes to prostate cancer progression. In this protocol, we describe how these knockin mouse models can be utilized to study roles of TMPRSS2/ERG fusions in prostate cancer development both in vivo and in vitro.