Sigma-2 Receptors as Potential Novel Biomarkers During the Progression of Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH) into Prostate Cancer

Nicola Antonio Colabufoa, *, Pasquale Saponarob, c, Michele Bottalicob, c, Marialessandra Continoa, Carmela Inglesea, Vincenzo Pagliaruloc, Arcangelo Pagliaruloc, Francesco Berardia, Roberto Perronea
1 Dipartimento Farmacochimico, Facoltá di Farmacia, Universitá degli Studi di Bari, via Orabona, 4, 70125, Bari, Italy
2 Unità Operativa di Urologia, Casa di Cura Santa Maria, SPA, Via De Ferrariis 18/D, 70124 Bari, Italy
3 Dipartimento Emergenza e Trapianti d’Organo, Sezione di Urologia, Universitá degli Studi di Bari, Piazza G. Cesare, 11, 70124, Bari, Itay

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© 2009 Chen et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Dipartimento Farmacochimico, Facoltá di Farmacia, Universitá degli Studi di Bari, via Orabona, 4, 70125, Bari, Italy; E-mail:


BPH could be considered the most common benign tumor for men between 60 and 75 years of age. PSA is an unsatisfactory biomarker to define BPH progression to cancer. Recently, sigma-2 receptors have been recognized in several prostate cancer cell lines such as PC-3, DU-145 and LNCaP. It is reported that, in some cases, BPH could progress to malignancy and this progression can not easily be monitored by biomarkers such as PSA. In this paper we investigated 10 specimens from TURP, finding overexpression of sigma-2 receptors in two of these specimens (specimen 1 and 2) accompanied by 4 ng/mL PSA values. We hypothesize that the presence of sigma-2 receptors is related to a BPH progressing in prostate cancer. A possible correlation between sigma-2 receptors and PSA values could be useful to identify this pathological progression.

Keywords: Sigma-2 receptors, benign prostate hypertrophy, PSA.