World Journal of Urology

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 359–364

Association of legumain expression pattern with prostate cancer invasiveness and aggressiveness


    • Department of UrologyTokyo Medical University
  • Jun Nakashima
    • Department of UrologyTokyo Medical University
  • Miki Izumi
    • Department of Diagnostic PathologyTokyo Medical University
  • Makoto Ohori
    • Department of UrologyTokyo Medical University
  • Takeshi Hashimoto
    • Department of UrologyTokyo Medical University
  • Masaaki Tachibana
    • Department of UrologyTokyo Medical University
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00345-012-0977-z

Cite this article as:
Ohno, Y., Nakashima, J., Izumi, M. et al. World J Urol (2013) 31: 359. doi:10.1007/s00345-012-0977-z



To investigate the clinical implication of legumain, an asparaginyl endopeptidase that is highly expressed in several types of cancer, expression in prostate cancer.


Legumain expression in prostate cancer cell lines was determined by real-time reverse transcriptase PCR and Western blot. Furthermore, legumain expression in 88 prostatectomy specimens was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. The association between legumain expression and clinicopathological factors was analyzed.


Legumain expression was confirmed at the mRNA and protein levels in all the cells. Although all the cancer tissues were positive for legumain, 2 staining patterns were observed in the cytoplasm: diffuse cytoplasmic and vesicular positivity. The rates of Gleason score ≥8, extracapsular extension, and perineural invasion in the group with vesicular staining were significantly higher than those in the diffuse cytoplasmic group (p < 0.05). The maximum size of the tumor with vesicular staining was significantly greater than that of the tumor with diffuse cytoplasmic staining (p = 0.0302). The 5-year biochemical recurrence-free rate in the patients with vesicular legumain staining was 53.2 %; this rate was significantly lower than that (78.8 %) in the patients with diffuse cytoplasmic staining (p = 0.0269).


Tumors that showed a vesicular staining pattern of legumain had the potential of being highly invasive and aggressive in patients with prostate cancer who were treated with radical prostatectomy. This suggests that legumain might contribute to the invasiveness and aggressiveness of prostate cancer.


LegumainProstate cancerBiochemical recurrencePrognostic factor

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012