Dr. Smith focuses on the role of human prostate stem cells (PSC), and prostate tumor stem cells (PTSC), in the etiology and pathogenesis of prostate cancer. The Smith lab has identified the signature phenotypic characteristic of PSC causally associated with maintenance of the PSC/PTSC phenotype that allows isolation of viable cells. Purified populations of PSCs and PTSCs facilitate characterization of: commonalities/differences in gene expression/phenotype, reciprocal interactions between PSC/PTSC and their stem cell niche, PTSC role in metastases, and molecular targets for selective killing/differentiation. The prostate is the ideal model because differentiated prostate epithelial/cancer cells are eliminated by androgen deprivation, leaving stem cells intact.
Godoy A, Watts A, Sotomayor P, Montecinos VP, Huss WJ, Onate SA, Smith GJ. Androgen receptor is causally involved in the homeostasis of the human prostate endothelial cell. Endocrinology. 2008 Jun;149(6):2959-69. Epub 2008 Feb 21.
Huss WJ, Gray DR, Tavakoli K, Marmillion ME, Durham LE, Johnson MA, Greenberg NM, Smith GJ. Origin of androgen-insensitive poorly differentiated tumors in the transgenic adenocarcinoma of mouse prostate model. Neoplasia. 2007 Nov;9(11):938-50.
Huss WJ, Gray DR, Greenberg NM, Mohler JL, Smith GJ. (2005). Breast cancer resistance protein-mediated efflux of androgen in putative benign and malignant prostate stem cells. Cancer Res. 1;65(15):6640-50.