The long non-coding RNA PCA3: an update of its functions and clinical applications as a biomarker in prostate cancer

Ana Emília Goulart Lemos, Aline da Rocha Matos, Luciana Bueno Ferreira and Etel Rodrigues Pereira Gimba

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Oncotarget. 2019; 10:6589-6603. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.27284

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Ana Emília Goulart Lemos1,2,*, Aline da Rocha Matos3,*, Luciana Bueno Ferreira4,* and Etel Rodrigues Pereira Gimba2,4,5

1 Departamento de Epidemiologia e Métodos Quantitativos em Saúde, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública/Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (FIOCRUZ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

2 Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Biomédicas – Fisiologia e Farmacologia, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

3 Laboratório de Vírus Respiratórios e do Sarampo, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

4 Coordenação de Pesquisa, Instituto Nacional do Câncer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

5 Departamento de Ciências da Natureza (RCN), Instituto de Humanidades e Saúde, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

* These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Aline da Rocha Matos,email: aline.matos@ioc.fiocruz.br

Keywords: PCA3; prostate cancer; biomarker; long non-coding RNA (lncRNA); clinical applications

Received: July 18, 2019     Accepted: September 24, 2019     Published: November 12, 2019


Prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3) is an overexpressed prostate long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), transcribed from an intronic region at the long arm of human chromosome 9q21–22. It has been described that PCA3 modulates prostate cancer (PCa) cell survival through modulating androgen receptor (AR) signaling, besides controlling the expression of several androgen responsive and cancer-related genes, including epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers and those regulating gene expression and cell signaling. Also, PCA3 urine levels have been successfully used as a PCa diagnostic biomarker. In this review, we have highlighted recent findings regarding PCA3, addressing its gene structure, putative applications as a biomarker, a proposed origin of this lncRNA, roles in PCa biology and expression patterns. We also updated data regarding PCA3 interactions with cancer-related miRNAs and expression in other tissues and diseases beyond the prostate. Altogether, literature data indicate aberrant expression and dysregulated activity of PCA3, suggesting PCA3 as a promising relevant target that should be even further evaluated on its applicability for PCa detection and management.

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