NEW YORK, Feb. 14 - Compugen researchers have discovered two previously unknown prostate-specific proteins, the company said on Wednesday.
The proteins were first predicted by Compugen's computational biology platform, then verified through molecular biology techniques in the corporate labs.
The proteins are encoded by alternative mRNA splice variants of KlK3 and KLK2, genes that produce prostate specific antigen and human kallikrein 2 (hK2). Both PSA and hK2 are secreted in the human prostate and have been used as biomarkers for prostate cancer.
The newly discovered splice variant products are apparently unrelated to other proteins in the kallikrein family, but their expression, regulation, and secretion is similar to PSA. That finding suggests that these new proteins may prove to be useful in understanding the biology of prostate cancer, and suggest new drug targets or diagnostic markers.
The finding is published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry.
The LEADS bioinformatics platform incorporates genomics and proteomics tools and information from public and private databases to generate predictions of genes, mRNA transcripts, splice variants, and proteins.