A novel human cancer culture model for the study of prostate cancer

Y. Yasunaga, K. Nakamura, D. Ko, S. Srivastava, J. W. Moul, I. A. Sesterhenn, D. G. McLeod, J. S. Rhim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Research into molecular and genetic mechanisms underlying prostate carcinogenesis would be greatly advanced by in vitro models of prostate tumors representing primary tumors. We have successfully established an immortalized human prostate epithelial (HPE) cell culture derived from a primary tumor with telomerase. The actively proliferating early passaged RC-58T cells were transduced through infection with a retrovirus vector expressing the human telomerase catalytic subunit (hTERT). A high level of telomerase was detected in RC-58T/hTERT cells but not RC-58T cells. RC-58T/hTERT cells are currently growing well at passage 50, whereas RC-58T cells senesced at passage 7. RC-58T/hTERT cells exhibit transformed morphology. More importantly, these immortalized cells showed anchorage-independent growth as they formed colonies in soft agar and grew above the agar layer. Expression of androgen-regulated prostate specific gene NKX3.1 and epithelial specific cytokeratin 8 (CK8) but not prostate specific antigen (PSA) and androgen receptor was detected in RC-58T/hTERT cells. Prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA) and p16 were also expressed in this cell line. RC-58T/hTERT cells showed growth inhibition when exposed to retinoic acid and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 known potent inhibitors of prostate epithelial cell growth. A number of chromosome alterations were observed including the loss of chromosomes Y, 3p, 10p, 17p, 18q and the gain of chromosomes 16 and 20. These results demonstrate that this primary tumor-derived HPE cell line retained its transformed phenotypes and should allow studies to elucidate molecular and genetic alterations involved in prostate cancer. This is the first documented case of an established human prostate cancer cell line from a primary tumor of a prostate cancer patient with telomerase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8036-8041
Number of pages6
Issue number55
Publication statusPublished - Nov 29 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Human prostate cancer cell line
  • Immortalization
  • Telomerase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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