Global expression analysis of prostate cancer-associated stroma and epithelia

Diagn Mol Pathol. 2007 Dec;16(4):189-97. doi: 10.1097/PDM.0b013e3180de20ac.


Characterization of gene expression profiles in tumor cells and the tumor microenvironment is an important step in understanding neoplastic progression. To date, there are limited data available on expression changes that occur in the tumor-associated stroma as either a cause or consequence of cancer. In the present study, we employed a 54,000 target oligonucleotide microarray to compare expression profiles in the 4 major components of the microenvironment: tumor epithelium, tumor-associated stroma, normal epithelium, and normal stroma. Cells from 5 human, whole-mount prostatectomy specimens were microdissected and the extracted and amplified mRNA was hybridized to an Affymetrix Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 GeneChip. Using the intersection of 2 analysis methods, we identified sets of differentially expressed genes among the 4 components. Forty-four genes were found to be consistently differentially expressed in the tumor-associated stroma; 35 were found in the tumor epithelium. Interestingly, the tumor-associated stroma showed a predominant up-regulation of transcripts compared with normal stroma, in sharp contrast to the overall down-regulation seen in the tumor epithelium relative to normal epithelium. These data provide insight into the molecular changes occurring in tumor-associated stromal cells and suggest new potential targets for future diagnostic, imaging, or therapeutic intervention.

MeSH terms

  • Epithelium / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Stromal Cells / metabolism