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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Low-calcium serum-free defined medium selects for growth of normal prostatic epithelial stem cells.

Stage-specific differentiation markers were used to evaluate the cellular composition and the origin of nonimmortalized (PrEC) and immortalized (PZ-HPV7, CA-HPV10, RWPE-1, and 957E/hTERT) human prostate cell lines. These studies documented that immortalized and nonimmortalized prostate epithelial cells established and maintained in low (i.e., <300 mumol/L) Ca(2+) serum-free defined (SFD) medium were all derived from normal nonmalignant prostate tissues and contain CD133(+)/ABCG2(+)/alpha(2)beta(1)(Hi)/p63(-)/PSCA(-)/AR(-)/PSA(-) prostate stem cells. In these cultures, prostate stem cells are able to self-renew and generate two distinct cell lineages: the minor proliferatively quiescent neuroendocrine lineage and the major transit-amplifying cell lineage. Subsequently, CD133(-)/ABCG2(-)/alpha(2)beta(1)(Hi)/p63(+)/PSCA(-)/AR(-)/PSA(-) transit-amplifying cells proliferate frequently and eventually mature into proliferatively quiescent CD133(-)/ABCG2(-)/alpha(2)beta(1)(Lo)/p63(-)/PSCA(+)/AR(-)/PSA(-) intermediate cells. Such proliferatively quiescent intermediate cells, however, do not complete their full maturation into CD133(-)/ABCG2(-)/alpha(2)beta(1)(Lo)/p63(-)/PSCA(-)/AR(+)/PSA(+) luminal-secretory cells in low Ca(2+) SFD medium. Addition of universal type I IFN and synthetic androgen (R1881) to culture medium resulted in up-regulation of androgen receptor protein expression. However, it failed to induce full differentiation of intermediate cells into AR(+)/PSA(+) luminal-secretory cells. Our results indicate that such inability of prostate epithelial cells to complete their differentiation is due to continuous expression of Notch-1 receptor and its downstream effector, Hey-1 protein, which actively suppresses differentiation via its ability to transcriptionally repress a series of genes, including the GATA family of transcription factors. (Cancer Res 2006; 66(17): 8598-607).[1]


  1. Low-calcium serum-free defined medium selects for growth of normal prostatic epithelial stem cells. Litvinov, I.V., Vander Griend, D.J., Xu, Y., Antony, L., Dalrymple, S.L., Isaacs, J.T. Cancer Res. (2006) [Pubmed]
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