E Lynette Wilson, PhD

E Lynette WilsonProfessor of Cell Biology and Urology
PhD 1971 University of Cape Town, South Africa

Department of Cell Biology, MSB 629
New York University School of Medicine
550 First Avenue
New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212) 263 7684
E-mail: elaine.wilson@nyumc.org

Website: http://www.med.nyu.edu/biosketch/wilsoe01#
Research Theme(s): Biology of Adult, Fetal and Cancer Stem Cells
Keywords: Prostate Stem Cells

Research Summary:

It is likely that the aberrant proliferation of prostate stem cells and/or their progenitors contributes to prostate pathology. Our work focuses on the isolation and characterization of the stem and progenitor cell populations of the adult and the fetal prostate. In particular, we have shown that the proximal region of murine prostatic ducts is enriched in stem cells that express high levels of Sca-1, are quiescent and have high proliferative potential in vitro and in vivo. In addition, single proximal cells give rise to branched ductal structures that contain both basal and luminal cells. Cells from this region have significant regenerative capacity when assayed in an in vivo prostate reconstitution assay in which combinations of prostate cells and embryonic urogenital sinus mesenchyme (inductive mesenchyme for prostatic tissue) are inserted under the renal capsule of recipient animals. Proximal cells also withstand prolonged androgen deprivation, another characteristic of stem cells. Sca-1high prostate regenerating cells also express other antigens characteristic of stem cells such as alpha 6 integrin, aldehyde dehydrogenase and Bcl-2. High levels of TGF-beta in the proximal region maintain the quiescence of the proximal stem cell niche. We have determined that cells from murine bone marrow can contribute to the epithelial and mesenchymal compartments of the adult prostate. The global gene expression profiles of adult and fetal prostate stem cells indicate that adult stem cells may acquire characteristics of self-renewing primitive fetal prostate cells during oncogenesis and suggest that aberrant activation of components of prostate stem cell pathways may contribute to the development of prostate tumors.

Research is supported by the National Institutes of Health, Amgen Inc.


Selected publications: