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Stem Cell Rev. 2008 Sep;4(3):193-201. doi: 10.1007/s12015-008-9033-1.

Exploring the origins of the normal prostate and prostate cancer stem cell.

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Department of Urologic Surgery, A-1302 Medical Center North, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 1161 21st Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37232-2765, USA.

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  • Stem Cell Rev. 2008 Dec;4(4):329.


Prostate epithelial stem cells (PSCs) are primed by the urogenital mesenchyme to initiate bud formation and branching morphogenesis, ultimately culminating in a glandular structure composed of luminal, basal and neuroendocrine cells. Identity of this cell has remained elusive however cell populations enriched for cells exhibiting stem cell characteristics express the stem cell markers CD133(+), alpha2beta1(hi), CD44 and Sca-1 along with embryonic stem cell factors including Oct-1, Nanog, Sox2 and nestin. Androgens are critical to prostate organogenesis and play a major role in normal prostate function and the development of prostate cancer. Cell lineage is another variable in the development of prostate cancer. This review discusses the embryonic prostate stem cell niche, normal prostate development, isolation and characterization of normal prostate and prostate cancer stem cells, and current concepts on the origin of prostate cancer.

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