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|Title:||Characterizing prostate cancer stem-like cells and their contribution to prostate cancer tumorigenesis|
|Keywords:||Cancer;Cancer stem cells;Prostate Cancer|
|Abstract:||On average, 65 Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer (PC) every day, making it the most common male cancer in Canada. Despite the prevalence, the etiology of PC is unknown. Evidence nonetheless supports the role of prostate cancer stem cells (PCSCs) in PC initiation and metastasis. In spite of almost a decade worth of research on PCSCs our knowledge on their biology remains fragmented. By taking advantage of the availability of DU145 cell-derived PCSCs in our laboratory, this thesis research focuses on investigating the unique properties of PCSCs and their function in promoting PC tumorigenesis. We identified two PCSC-specific proteins, ALDH3A1 and CNTN1. In mouse models of xenograft tumors, ALDH3A1 was expressed at higher levels in PCSC-derived tumors than in DU145 non-PCSC-produced tumors and in lung metastases than local tumors. In clinical settings, elevation of ALDH3A1expression was observed from normal prostate tissues to carcinomas and from local PCs to the paired lymph node metastases. Additionally, ALDH3A1 was clearly detected in bone metastases. Similar to ALDH3A1, CNTN1 expression associates with PC progression and biochemical recurrence following radical prostatectomy. The clear presence of CNTN1 in lymph node and bone metastases was also demonstrated. Furthermore, CNTN1 expression promoted PC metastasis to the lungs and tumor initiation in NOD/SCID mice. Mechanistically, CNTN1 increased AKT activation and reduced E-cadherin expression. Collectively, our research revealed important roles of both PCSC proteins in promoting PC tumorigenesis and progression. PC develops chemotherapy resistance in which PCSCs play a major role. In supporting this knowledge, we demonstrated that PCSCs are innately more resistant to the chemotherapeutic drugs, etoposide and docetaxel and that this resistance was in part attributable to their enhanced DNA damage response. Taken together, the findings of this thesis advances our knowledge on two specific PCSC markers and their association with prostate cancer progression and metastasis. As well as to the mechanism whereby PCSCs promote resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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|Yan0801849ThesisSept2014.pdf||PhD Thesis||7.79 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
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