NIH Logo While a previous article affirmed dietary alterations to lower risk of developing prostate cancer, here is an analysis which points out the impact of gene variations on this disease. Experts from the National Institutes of Health claim that variations in a gene for an enzyme involved in cell energy metabolism can heighten chances for prostate cancer. The enzyme phosphodiesterase 11A (PDE11A) is apparently damaged by genetic variations for controlling a cell’s response to hormones and other signals.

On analyzing a group of men with prostate cancer, scientists observed that patients were almost four times more likely to have variations affecting the activity of PDE11A, than men without the cancer. Estimates suggest that in 2010 the world will be reporting 217,730 new cases of prostate cancer, and 32,050 deaths. Investigators aim to employ PDE11A in genetic screening for prostate cancer. Constantine Stratakis, M.D., D.Sc., acting director of the Intramural Research program at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the senior author of the study, and colleagues examined tissue achieved from 50 men with prostate cancer and 287 men without the ailment.

Having scrutinized the DNA of men, scientists claim to have identified 8 variations in PDE11A gene. These variations possibly reduce the production or activity of PDE11A. Among prostate cancer patients, 30 percent probably revealed one or more variations, in comparison to 10 percent men who did not have the illness. From the total variations 5 have been already detected and the remaining 3 were apparently unknown. It was claimed that phosphodiesterase enzymes control cellular activity in hormone producing organs like the testes, prostate gland, adrenal gland and ovaries.

PDE11A is believed to govern a compound involved in supplying cells with energy known as cyclic adenosine monophosphate. Apparently erectile dysfunction is treated with a drug called as Tadalafil which also inhibits PDE11A. Further investigations will be conducted to ascertain whether tadalafil or other drugs restricting PDE11A can affect prostate in men who have a variant gene for PDE11A. At present there is no clinical evidence which relates tadalafil to prostate cancer or other cancers.

The study was published online in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.