Derivation of human primary prostate epithelial cell lines by differentially targeting the CDKN2A locus along with expression of hTERT.

Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most common cancer diagnosed in men worldwide and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in US males in 2022. Prostate cancer also represents the second highest cancer mortality disparity between non-Hispanic blacks and whites. However, there is a relatively small number of prostate normal and cancer cell lines compared to other cancers. To identify the molecular basis of PCa progression, it is important to have prostate epithelial cell (PrEC) lines as karyotypically normal as possible. Our lab recently developed a novel methodology for the rapid and efficient immortalization of normal human PrEC that combines simultaneous CRISPR-directed inactivation of CDKN2A exon 2 (which directs expression of p16INK4A and p14ARF) and ectopic expression of an hTERT transgene. To optimize this methodology to generate immortalized lines with minimal genetic alterations, we sought to target exon 1α of the CDKN2A locus so that p16INK4A expression is ablated while p14ARF expression remains unaltered. Here we describe the establishment of two cell lines: one with the above-mentioned p16INK4A only loss, and a second line targeting both products in the CDKN2A locus. We characterize the potential lineage origin of these new cell lines along with our previously obtained clones, revealing distinct gene expression signatures. Based on the analyses of protein markers and RNA expression signatures, these cell lines are most closely related to a subpopulation of basal prostatic cells. Given the simplicity of this one-step methodology and the fact that it uses only the minimal genetic alterations necessary for immortalization, it should also be suitable for the establishment of cell lines from primary prostate tumor samples, an urgent need given the limited number of available prostate cancer cell lines.

Research square. 2024 May 06*** epublish ***

Jason S Wasserman, Holly Fowle, Rumesa Hashmi, Diba Atar, Kishan Patel, Amir Yarmahmoodi, Alexander W Macfarlane, Yinfei Tan, Edna Cukierman, Bojana Gligorijevic, Adam Karami, Kelly A Whelan, Kerry S Campbell, Xavier GraƱa