Racial differences in circulating mitochondria-derived peptides may contribute to prostate cancer health disparities.

The mitochondrial genome has small open reading frames (sORF) which produce measurable mitochondrial-derived peptides (MDPs), including humanin, SHLP2, and MOTS-c. Previously, among men undergoing prostate biopsy, we found higher serum SHLP2 was linked with lower prostate cancer (PC) risk in European American men (EAM), while null associations were found in African American men (AAM). Here, in different patients undergoing prostate biopsy, we tested the link between SHLP2, humanin and MOTS-c and PC risk by race.

Plasma SHLP2, humanin, and MOTS-c were measured in 198 men (50/49 EAM/AAM cases; 50/49 EAM/AAM controls) undergoing biopsy. Logistic and multinomial regression models tested associations between each MDP and PC diagnosis, low-grade (grade group, GG1) and high-grade (GG2-5). Models were adjusted for age, body mass index, digital rectal examination, and prostate specific antigen (PSA). We tested interactions between MDPs and race.

Among controls, humanin was similar by race (p = 0.60), but both SHLP2 (p = 0.007) and MOTS-c (p = 0.026) were lower in AAM controls versus EAM controls. Among EAM, higher MDP values were associated with lower PC risk (all p ≤ 0.001), with null associations in AAM (all p-interactions ≤ 0.01). Similarly, higher MDP expression was associated with decreased risk of low- and high-grade PC in EAM (all p ≤ 0.005) with null associations in AAM.

Higher MDP levels were associated with lower PC risk in EAM but not AAM. Generally, AAM controls had lower MDP levels. These data support MDPs and mitochondrial dysfunction in PC, suggesting greater dysfunction in AAM may contribute to excess PC risk. Future larger studies are needed to confirm these results.

The Prostate. 2022 Jul 05 [Epub ahead of print]

Adela Ramirez-Torres, Allison L Reagan, Lauren E Howard, Emily Wiggins, Adriana C Vidal, Junxiang Wan, Brendan Miller, Stephen J Freedland, Pinchas Cohen

Department of Surgery, Center for Integrated Research on Cancer and Lifestyle, Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA., Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina, USA., Division of Urology, Veterans Affairs Health Care System, VA Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA., Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.

email news signup