Maitland, N. J., Macintosh, C. A., Hall, J., Sharrard, M., Quinn, S. and Lang, S. In Vitro Models to Study Cellular Differentiation and Function in Human Prostate Cancers.
To augment the currently available models of human prostate cancer in vitro, we have established extended life-span epithelial cultures from biopsies of well-differentiated prostate cancers. The genetic identity of the target cells was assessed by allelotyping, using microsatellites located on chromosome 8p, and microdissection of tissues and primary cell cultures. Cells with an extended life span (PxE6) were derived by recombinant retrovirus infection to introduce the human papilloma virus E6 gene (epithelial cells). Immunophenotyping of the resultant cell strains confirmed retention of differentiated cell functions, and the genotype of the E6-expressing epithelial cells was stable, while SV40-immortalized cultures were more unstable, leading to tetraploidy. All PxE6 cells eventually senesced, but an immortalized epithelial culture, P4E6, was derived from one of the epithelial cultures. The properties of this cell line, which remains close to diploid, are similar to those of early prostate cancer cells, and it retains expression of many prostate-associated antigens, such as prostate-specific antigen (PSA).