Current studies in the lab examine the role of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) G2 cellular pump in prostate stem cell regulation in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) growth. ABCG2 was originally discovered in a chemotherapy resistant breast cancer cell line, and is a member of a large family of ABC transporters that protect cells from a wide range of substrates. ABCG2 is proposed to protect cancer stem cells in many tumor types.
We have shown that ABCG2 mediated androgen efflux maintains prostate stem cells and that ABCG2 inhibition induces loss of stem cell properties. Thus, we propose that prostate stem cells in BPH and prostate cancer can be therapeutically targeted through ABCG2 inhibition. We are also performing targeted whole genome sequencing of cancer stem cells on single cells isolated via the Fluidigm system to determine stem cell heterogeneity. Targeting cancer stem cells is hypothesized to eliminate a potential source of primary cancer and recurrent prostate cancer, ultimately leading to reduction of primary cancer treatment and recurrent cancer.
Past and current funding include: RPCI Alliance Foundation, NYSTEM, Dr. Louis Sklarow Memorial Fund, and NIDDK.