The aim of present investigation is to elucidate the complex stem cell dynamics within prostate cancer, which can be utilized to design novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for the management of prostate cancer. In order to determine precise transcriptional and microRNA regulatory mechanisms modulating stem cell self-renewal and differentiation, unique cellular assays have been developed in our lab that utilize homogeneous fractionated cell populations enriched from primary patient prostate cultures. Using a prospective bioinformatic analysis of gene expression data from Birnie et. al., 2008, we have identified LCN2, CEACAM6, and S100p as candidate genes for regulation of prostate stem cell differentiation. Their over-expression in differentiated cells, as compared to stem cells, was validated in respective cells enriched from cultures obtained from BPH, cancer and castration resistant prostate cancer samples and from primary human prostate cancer xenografts. Interestingly, the analysis of 25,000 published human Affymetrix microarray chips revealed that LCN2, CEACAM6, and S100p have a more similar expression pattern than that of any other genes in the entire human genome, suggesting that they may have common function and are co-regulated. Indeed, the promoter analysis showed that the promoters (1kb from TSS) of all these genes have common binding sites for 40 transcription factors with very high affinity and P < 0.001. Most of these transcription factors have a well-documented role in cell differentiation (RA, AR, and NANOG) and prostate carcinogenesis (NF-kB). Significant up-regulation in the expression of these genes in prostate cell lines after treatment with all-trans retinoic acid and androgen analogue R1881 further suggested the role of AR and RA in prostate differentiation. Along with transcriptional regulation, Agilent v3 miRNA microarray data revealed obviously distinct miRNA expression profiles in stem and differentiated prostate epithelial cells, confirming crucial role of miRNA in main taining epithelial hierarchies, in prostate. We anticipate that evaluation of integrative transcriptional (LCN2-CEACAM6-S100p)-microRNA regulatory network, with further functional studies, will comprehensively establish a detailed knowledge base for potential regulatory mechanisms involved in prostate stem cell and prostate cancer stem cell differentiation. These insights will be valuable to formulate efficient ‘differentiation therapy’ for the management of prostate cancer.

Citation Format: {Authors}. {Abstract title} [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 103rd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2012 Mar 31-Apr 4; Chicago, IL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2012;72(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 5198. doi:1538-7445.AM2012-5198