Conditionally Reprogrammed Normal and Primary Tumor Prostate Epithelial Cells: A Novel Patient-Derived Cell Model for Studies of Human Prostate Cancer

Oncotarget. 2017 Apr 4;8(14):22741-22758. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.13937.


Our previous study demonstrated that conditional reprogramming (CR) allows the establishment of patient-derived normal and tumor epithelial cell cultures from a variety of tissue types including breast, lung, colon and prostate. Using CR, we have established matched normal and tumor cultures, GUMC-29 and GUMC-30 respectively, from a patient's prostatectomy specimen. These CR cells proliferate indefinitely in vitro and retain stable karyotypes. Most importantly, only tumor-derived CR cells (GUMC-30) produced tumors in xenografted SCID mice, demonstrating maintenance of the critical tumor phenotype. Characterization of cells with DNA fingerprinting demonstrated identical patterns in normal and tumor CR cells as well as in xenografted tumors. By flow cytometry, both normal and tumor CR cells expressed basal, luminal, and stem cell markers, with the majority of the normal and tumor CR cells expressing prostate basal cell markers, CD44 and Trop2, as well as luminal marker, CD13, suggesting a transit-amplifying phenotype. Consistent with this phenotype, real time RT-PCR analyses demonstrated that CR cells predominantly expressed high levels of basal cell markers (KRT5, KRT14 and p63), and low levels of luminal markers. When the CR tumor cells were injected into SCID mice, the expression of luminal markers (AR, NKX3.1) increased significantly, while basal cell markers dramatically decreased. These data suggest that CR cells maintain high levels of proliferation and low levels of differentiation in the presence of feeder cells and ROCK inhibitor, but undergo differentiation once injected into SCID mice. Genomic analyses, including SNP and INDEL, identified genes mutated in tumor cells, including components of apoptosis, cell attachment, and hypoxia pathways. The use of matched patient-derived cells provides a unique in vitro model for studies of early prostate cancer.

Keywords: cancer cell models; cell lines; conditional cell reprogramming; patient-derived; prostate cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cellular Reprogramming / genetics*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Phenotype
  • Prostate / metabolism
  • Prostate / pathology*
  • Prostatectomy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery


  • Biomarkers, Tumor