Distinct mesenchymal cell states mediate prostate cancer progression

Nat Commun. 2024 Jan 8;15(1):363. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-44210-1.


In the complex tumor microenvironment (TME), mesenchymal cells are key players, yet their specific roles in prostate cancer (PCa) progression remain to be fully deciphered. This study employs single-cell RNA sequencing to delineate molecular changes in tumor stroma that influence PCa progression and metastasis. Analyzing mesenchymal cells from four genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) and correlating these findings with human tumors, we identify eight stromal cell populations with distinct transcriptional identities consistent across both species. Notably, stromal signatures in advanced mouse disease reflect those in human bone metastases, highlighting periostin's role in invasion and differentiation. From these insights, we derive a gene signature that predicts metastatic progression in localized disease beyond traditional Gleason scores. Our results illuminate the critical influence of stromal dynamics on PCa progression, suggesting new prognostic tools and therapeutic targets.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells*
  • Mice
  • Prostate
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Stromal Cells
  • Tumor Microenvironment / genetics