Research Article Open Access

Role of Progranulin Gene Expression as a Molecular Biomarker for Bladder Cancer

Salwa M. Abo El-khair1, Mie A. Mohamed1 and Tamer E. Alkhiary2
  • 1 Mansoura University, Egypt
  • 2 Damietta Oncology Center-Egyptian Ministry of Health, Egypt


Bladder cancer is the second most common cancer of the urinary system. Early diagnosis of this tumor and estimation of risk of future progression has a significant impact on prognosis. Although there are several molecular markers for the diagnosis and prognosis for this tumor, their accuracy is not ideal. Progranulin is a growth factor that may play a critical role in bladder cancer. Previous reports have shown that progranulin is essential for cellular proliferation. In this study, we examined whether progranulin gene expression can be a novel molecular marker for bladder cancer and evaluated its potential suitability as a urinary biomarker for bladder cancer diagnosis. Expression of progranulin gene in tissue and urine sediment of normal and bladder cancer samples was performed by semi-quantitative reverse transcription-PCR. Also, progranulin level was estimated in 90 voided urine samples, including 65 bladder cancer patients and 25 healthy volunteers using the quantitative enzyme immunoassay technique. Significant over-expression of progranulin was observed in bladder cancer cases. This over-expression was correlated with the stage and grade of the cancer. The urinary progranulin level was significantly higher in bladder cancer patients compared to control subjects (means: 18.39±0.56 and 9.17±0.41 ng mL-1, respectively; p<0.001). Furthermore, the urinary progranulin level at cut off value = 11.275 has a sensitivity = 93.8% and a specificity = 84% for cancer bladder diagnosis. Urinary progranulin may be considered as a simple, non-invasive test with acceptable sensitivity and specificity for bladder cancer diagnosis and may greatly improve the current diagnosis based on cytology. However, this is a preliminary study that opens the window for further researches to fully validate its results in progranulin and cancer bladder research.

American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Volume 8 No. 2, 2012, 71-80


Submitted On: 13 April 2012 Published On: 22 June 2012

How to Cite: El-khair, S. M. A., Mohamed, M. A. & Alkhiary, T. E. (2012). Role of Progranulin Gene Expression as a Molecular Biomarker for Bladder Cancer. American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 8(2), 71-80.

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  • Progranulin
  • RT-PCR
  • acceptable sensitivity
  • potential biomarkers
  • Urothelial Cell Carcinoma (UCC)