High-Throughput Screening for Novel Prostate Cancer Drug Targets: Getting Personal: Dissertation

Paula Vainio

Research output: ThesisDissertationCollection of Articles


Prostate cancers form a heterogeneous group of diseases and there is a need for novel biomarkers, and for more efficient and targeted methods of treatment. In this thesis, the potential of microarray data, RNA interference (RNAi) and compound screens were utilized in order to identify novel biomarkers, drug targets and drugs for future personalized prostate cancer therapeutics. First, a bioinformatic mRNA expression analysis covering 9873 human tissue and cell samples, including 349 prostate cancer and 147 normal prostate samples, was used to distinguish in silico prevalidated putative prostate cancer biomarkers and drug targets. Second, RNAi based high-throughput (HT) functional profiling of 295 prostate and prostate cancer tissue specific genes was performed in cultured prostate cancer cells. Third, a HT compound screen approach using a library of 4910 drugs and drug-like molecules was exploited to identify potential drugs inhibiting prostate cancer cell growth. Nine candidate drug targets, with biomarker potential, and one cancer selective compound were validated in vitro and in vivo. In addition to androgen receptor (AR) signaling, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) function, arachidonic acid (AA) pathway, redox homeostasis and mitosis were identified as vital processes in prostate cancer cells. ERG oncogene positive cancer cells exhibited sensitivity to induction of oxidative and ER stress, whereas advanced and castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) could be potentially targeted through AR signaling and mitosis. In conclusion, this thesis illustrates the power of systems biological data analysis in the discovery of potential vulnerabilities present in prostate cancer cells, as well as novel options for personalized cancer management.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor Degree
Awarding Institution
  • University of Turku
  • Iljin, Kristiina, Supervisor
  • Kallioniemi, Olli, Supervisor, External person
Place of PublicationTurku
Print ISBNs978-951-29-4822-2
Electronic ISBNs978-951-29-4823-9
Publication statusPublished - 2011
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • Prostate cancer
  • high-throughput screening
  • gene expression
  • RNA interference
  • drug target
  • biomarker
  • drug
  • eturauhassyöpä
  • tehoseulonta
  • RNA interferenssi
  • geenin ilmentyminen
  • lääkehoidon kohde
  • merkkiaine
  • lääke


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