Systemic surfaceome profiling identifies target antigens for immune-based therapy in subtypes of advanced prostate cancer

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 May 8;115(19):E4473-E4482. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1802354115. Epub 2018 Apr 23.


Prostate cancer is a heterogeneous disease composed of divergent molecular and histologic subtypes, including prostate adenocarcinoma (PrAd) and neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC). While PrAd is the major histology in prostate cancer, NEPC can evolve from PrAd as a mechanism of treatment resistance that involves a transition from an epithelial to a neurosecretory cancer phenotype. Cell surface markers are often associated with specific cell lineages and differentiation states in normal development and cancer. Here, we show that PrAd and NEPC can be broadly discriminated by cell-surface profiles based on the analysis of prostate cancer gene expression datasets. To overcome a dependence on predictions of human cell-surface genes and an assumed correlation between mRNA levels and protein expression, we integrated transcriptomic and cell-surface proteomic data generated from a panel of prostate cancer cell lines to nominate cell-surface markers associated with these cancer subtypes. FXYD3 and CEACAM5 were validated as cell-surface antigens enriched in PrAd and NEPC, respectively. Given the lack of effective treatments for NEPC, CEACAM5 appeared to be a promising target for cell-based immunotherapy. As a proof of concept, engineered chimeric antigen receptor T cells targeting CEACAM5 induced antigen-specific cytotoxicity in NEPC cell lines. Our findings demonstrate that the surfaceomes of PrAd and NEPC reflect unique cancer differentiation states and broadly represent vulnerabilities amenable to therapeutic targeting.

Keywords: cell surface antigens; immunotherapy; prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Surface / analysis*
  • Antigens, Surface / immunology*
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen / genetics
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen / immunology
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / therapy*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • GPI-Linked Proteins / genetics
  • GPI-Linked Proteins / immunology
  • GPI-Linked Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / immunology
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasm Proteins / immunology
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism
  • Prostate / immunology
  • Prostate / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / immunology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Proteome / analysis*
  • Proteome / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / transplantation*
  • Transcriptome*


  • Antigens, Surface
  • CEACAM5 protein, human
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen
  • FXYD3 protein, human
  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Proteome