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J Cell Mol Med. 2016 Apr;20(4):721-30. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.12785. Epub 2016 Feb 5.

Protein profile of basal prostate epithelial progenitor cells--stage-specific embryonal antigen 4 expressing cells have enhanced regenerative potential in vivo.

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Heidelberg Institute for Stem Cell Technology and Experimental Medicine (HI-STEM gGmbH), Heidelberg, Germany.
Department of Urology, University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany.
Division of Stem Cells and Cancer, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.
German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), Heidelberg, Germany.


The long-term propagation of basal prostate progenitor cells ex vivo has been very difficult in the past. The development of novel methods to expand prostate progenitor cells in vitro allows determining their cell surface phenotype in greater detail. Mouse (Lin(-)Sca-1(+) CD49f(+) Trop2(high)-phenotype) and human (Lin(-) CD49f(+) TROP2(high)) basal prostate progenitor cells were expanded in vitro. Human and mouse cells were screened using 242 anti-human or 176 antimouse monoclonal antibodies recognizing the cell surface protein profile. Quantitative expression was evaluated at the single-cell level using flow cytometry. Differentially expressed cell surface proteins were evaluated in conjunction with the known CD49f(+)/TROP2(high) phenotype of basal prostate progenitor cells and characterized by in vivo sandwich-transplantation experiments using nude mice. The phenotype of basal prostate progenitor cells was determined as CD9(+)/CD24(+)/CD29(+)/CD44(+)/CD47(+)/CD49f(+)/CD104(+)/CD147(+)/CD326(+)/Trop2(high) of mouse as well as human origin. Our analysis revealed several proteins, such as CD13, Syndecan-1 and stage-specific embryonal antigens (SSEAs), as being differentially expressed on murine and human CD49f(+) TROP2(+) basal prostate progenitor cells. Transplantation experiments suggest that CD49f(+) TROP2(high) SSEA-4(high) human prostate basal progenitor cells to be more potent to regenerate prostate tubules in vivo as compared with CD49f(+) TROP2(high) or CD49f(+) TROP2(high) SSEA-4(low) cells. Determination of the cell surface protein profile of functionally defined murine and human basal prostate progenitor cells reveals differentially expressed proteins that may change the potency and regenerative function of epithelial progenitor cells within the prostate. SSEA-4 is a candidate cell surface marker that putatively enables a more accurate identification of the basal PESC lineage.


CD13; SSEA; Syndecan-1; prostate progenitor cells; prostate stem cells

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