Elevated Expression of Hypoxanthine Guanine Phosphoribosyltransferase within Malignant Tissue

  •  Michelle Townsend    
  •  Abigail Felsted    
  •  Zachary Ence    
  •  Stephen Piccolo    
  •  Richard Robison    
  •  Kim O'Neill    


Hypoxanthine Guanine Phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) is a housekeeping enzyme involved in the purine synthesis of guanine and inosine in the salvage pathway. While other salvage pathway enzymes, such as TK1, have been established as biomarkers for both cancer cell proliferation and cancer development, little research been done to evaluate whether HPRT has the same potential as a cancer biomarker. We designed this study to determine if HPRT has value as an identifier of malignancy within the most common types of cancer. We utilized histological samples from lung, colon, prostate, and breast cancer with additional normal tissue to evaluate whether there was any elevation of HPRT within malignant samples. In addition, we also assessed general HPRT expression within patient’s samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) to confirm clinical relevance. We found that within a subset of patients, there was significant elevation of HPRT when compared to normal tissue controls. This elevation was seen in 33-55% of the malignant samples and appears to have no dependence on cancer stage. There were slight differences in staining patterns among all the organ types, but overall each organ displayed the same pattern of ‘HPRT high’ and ‘HPRT low’ populations within malignant samples. We found that in our TCGA samples, there was a similar elevation of HPRT that was significant when compared to normal controls. Overall, as an upregulated enzyme that does not directly correlate with stage, HPRT could become a valuable marker in the early diagnosis of a variety of solid tumors. 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-4858
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-4866
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: semiannual

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