• Monika Schmelz
  • Anil Prasad
Part of the Cancer Metastasis – Biology and Treatment book series (CMBT, volume 9)


The simplified epithelium of the human prostate gland is representative of a slowly growing but morphologically dynamic tissue. The normal prostate gland contains, in part, the persistent basal cell population and the putative stem cells. It has been postulated by others that the transformation of normal glandular structures into cancer glands and subsequent tumor progression may involve aberrant regulation of the stem cell population. In this chapter, the induction of cytokeratin 6 expression is postulated to participate in the transition of a stem cell from its specialized niche within the basal cell population into a differentiated state. The basic morphological features of the normal prostate gland are reviewed and the molecular features of the prostate stem cells are discussed. Data is presented to illustrate the defining features of a new epithelial phenotype in the prostate gland, containing both cytokeratin 6 expression and the capability to differentiate and reach from the basal cell layer to the luminal surface of the gland. These results underscore the plasticity of the epithelial cell layers and the potential for cytokeratin 6 to serve as an efficient marker for an important subset of the basal cell population. Further investigation will be required in animal models to determine the essential nature of the cytokeratin 6 expression for the normal development of the prostate gland.


Prostate Cancer Basal Cell Human Prostate Prostate Gland Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monika Schmelz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anil Prasad
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PathologySouthern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care SystemTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, Arizona Health Sciences CenterUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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