Photo of Olli A. Jänne

Olli A. Jänne

1980 …2017

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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

High androgen receptor (AR) level in primary prostate tumor predicts poor prognosis, but mechanisms that regulate AR function in prostate cancer are still elusive. We address AR signaling and transcription programs in prostate cancer cells and mouse tissues by using genome-wide approaches. In particular, we characterize the importance of other DNA-binding transcription factors (e.g., members of the FoxA family) for localization of AR-binding events on chromatin, androgen-dependent transcription programs, and determination of the specificity of receptor binding. In addition, we address genome-wide cross-talk between AR and other nuclear receptors, such as the glucocorticoid and vitamin D receptors. The results are anticipated to offer new opportunities for therapeutic intervention in prostate cancer. Another line of research deals with the importance of protein SUMOylation in metabolism and inflammation. SUMOylation is a dynamic process involving the covalent attachment of SUMO to target proteins, such as nuclear receptors.

We described recently a new paradigm for the forkhead protein FoxA1 action in AR pathway. Besides being a pioneer factor in AR signaling, FoxA1 has other important functions as well; its depletion elicits extensive redistribution of AR-binding sites (ARBs) on prostate cancer cell chromatin that is commensurate with changes in androgen-dependent gene expression signature. We identified three classes of ARBs and androgen-responsive genes; (i) independent of FoxA1, (ii) require FoxA1, and (iii) unmasked by FoxA1 depletion. FoxA1 depletion also reprograms glucocorticoid receptor binding and glucocorticoid-dependent signaling. High FoxA1 level in primary prostate cancers is associated with poor disease prognosis, whereas low FoxA1 level, even in the presence of high AR expression, predicts good disease outcome.

Our ongoing work addresses the following topics: (i) tissue- and cell-specific AR pathways; (ii) cross-talk of AR with other nuclear receptors in prostate cancer; and (iii) protein SUMOylation in fat cell biology.

Education information

High School Matriculation, Helsingin Lyseo - 1963
Licentiate of Medicine (M.D.), University of Helsinki - 1969
Doctor of Medical Sciences (Ph.D.) - University of Helsinki - 1971
Specialist in Clinical Chemistry (Board Certification) - 1979

Fields of Science

  • 3111 Biomedicine
  • Steroid hormones
  • 3121 Internal medicine
  • 3122 Cancers
  • Hormone-dependent cancers

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.


  • 82 Article
  • 3 Conference contribution
  • 2 Review Article
  • 1 Chapter

Small carboxyl-terminal domain phosphatase 2 attenuates androgen-dependent transcription

Thompson, J., Lepikhova, T., Teixido-Travesa, N., Whitehead, M., Palvimo, J. & Jänne, O., 2006, In : EMBO Journal. 25, 12, p. 2757-2767 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

A hierarchical network of transcription factors governs androgen receptor-dependent prostate cancer growth

Wang, Q., Li, W., Liu, X. S., Carroll, J., Jänne, O., Keeton, E., Chinnalyan, A., Pienta, K. & Brown, M., 2007, In : Molecular Cell. 27, p. 380-392 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Sumo-1 function is dispensable in normal mouse development

Zhang, F-P., Mikkonen, L., Toppari, J., Palvimo, J., Thesleff, I. & Jänne, O., 2008, In : Molecular and Cellular Biology. 28, 17, p. 5381-5390 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Androgen receptor regulates a distinct transcription program in androgen-independent prostate cancer

Wang, Q., Li, W., Zhang, Y., Yuan, X., Xu, K., Yu, J., Chen, Z., Beroukhim, R., Wang, H., Jänne, O. & Brown, M., 2009, In : Cell. 138, p. 245-256 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Dual role of FoxA1 in androgen receptor binding to chromatin, androgen signalling and prostate cancer

Sahu, B., Laakso, M., Ovaska, K., Mirtti, T., Lundin, J., Rannikko, A., Sankila, A., Turunen, J-P., Lundin, M., Konsti, J., Vesterinen, T., Nordling, S., Kallioniemi, O., Hautaniemi, S. & Janne, O. A., 2011, In : EMBO Journal. 30, 19, p. 3962-3976 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review



Olli A. Jänne (Recipient), 2002

Prize: Prizes and awards

Honorary Member

Olli A. Jänne (Recipient), 2004

Prize: Prizes and awards

Knighthood (first class)

Olli A. Jänne (Recipient), 1995

Prize: Prizes and awards

The 18th Matti Äyräpää Award

Olli A. Jänne (Recipient), 1986

Prize: Prizes and awards


Androgens 2012 conference

Olli A. Jänne (Chair of organizing committee)
8 Nov 201211 Nov 2012

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Harvard Medical School & Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Olli A. Jänne (Visiting researcher)
8 Jun 201111 Jun 2011

Activity: Visiting an external institution typesAcademic visit to other institution

Evaluation panel member, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Karolinska Institute (ERA2010) (External organisation)

Olli A. Jänne (Member)

Activity: Membership typesMembership or other role in national/international committee, council, board

Endocrinology & Metabolism (External organisation)

Olli A. Jänne (Member)
27 Mar 201131 Mar 2011

Activity: Membership typesMembership or other role in research network

Research Infrastructure Committee, University of Helsinki (External organisation)

Olli A. Jänne (Member)
2010 → …

Activity: Membership typesMembership or other role in national/international committee, council, board