Aggressive Prostate Cancers Appear to Be Linked to Self-Renewing Stem Cells Within the Prostate

Aggressive Prostate Cancers Appear to Be Linked to Self-Renewing Stem Cells Within the Prostate
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center researchers have demonstrated that the prostate basal cell layer contains self-renewing adult stem cells, with a gene expression profile that overlaps that of aggressive and endocrine therapy-resistant prostate cancers. These results indicate that such cells might be the cells-of-origin in aggressive prostate cancers, and offer a new option for anticancer therapies. The research paper, “Stem cell and neurogenic gene-expression profiles link prostate basal cells to aggressive prostate cancer,” was published in Nature Communications. The prostate gland is mainly constituted of basal and luminal cells, organized in a pseudostratified epithelium. Several studies have identified these cells as “cells-of-origin” for prostate cancer in mouse models of the malignancy. However, the existence and localization, either in the basal or luminal compartments, of stem cells in the human prostate gland has remained controversial. Researchers performed a genome-wide transcriptome analysis, through deep RNA sequencing, to determine the gene expression profiles of human benign prostatic basal and luminal epithelial populations. The results, based on the molecular and biologic characterizations, indicate that basal cells express gene categories associated with stem cells and neurogenesis, the process of nervous system development. These findings, for the first time, suggest that the prostate basal cell layer contains self-renewing adult stem cells. Importantly, researchers found that
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