PCSC Epigenetic Landscape
A fundamental question yet to be answered for the entire CSC field is whether CSCs in general and PCSCs in particular may possess a global epigenetic landscape typical of primitive stem cells such as ESCs. ESCs have been shown to possess the bivalent chromatin domains, which consist of large regions of H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) in which reside smaller regions of H3 lysine 4 trimethylation (H3K4me3). The bivalent chromatin domains in ESCs function to silence developmental genes while keeping them poised for activation. We are currently addressing whether prostate CSCs possess a global epigenetic landscape enriched in bivalent chromatin domains. In the meantime, we are investigating how PCSCs are epigenetically regulated by microRNAs.