Scientists have isolated single stem cells from the prostate and used them to generate new prostates in mice. In a paper published online in Nature, Wei-Qiang Gao and colleagues describe the factors that make these cells identifiable, and show that they have long-term self-renewal.
The prostate shrinks and regenerates repeatedly in response to repeated cycles of androgen deprivation and production. A number of cell-surface markers have been reported to identify candidate prostate stem cells, but they are also markers for other stem cell types. The researchers identify CD117 as a marker of a rare adult mouse prostate stem-cell population, and use this marker in combination with others to isolate single cells that can generate a prostate on transplantation in vivo.
Wei-Qiang Gao (Genentech Inc, San Francisco, CA, USA)
Abstract available online.
(C) Nature press release.
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