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Systemic surfaceome profiling identifies target antigens for immune-based therapy in subtypes of advanced prostate cancer


Prostate cancer is a heterogeneous disease composed of divergent molecular and histologic subtypes, including prostate adenocarcinoma (PrAd) and neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC). While PrAd is the major histology in prostate cancer, NEPC can evolve from PrAd as a mechanism of treatment resistance that involves a transition from an epithelial to a neurosecretory cancer phenotype. Cell surface markers are often associated with specific cell lineages and differentiation states in normal development and cancer. Here, we show that PrAd and NEPC can be broadly discriminated by cell-surface profiles based on the analysis of prostate cancer gene expression datasets. To overcome a dependence on predictions of human cell-surface genes and an assumed correlation between mRNA levels and protein expression, we integrated transcriptomic and cell-surface proteomic data generated from a panel of prostate cancer cell lines to nominate cell-surface markers associated with these cancer subtypes. FXYD3 and CEACAM5 were validated as cell-surface antigens enriched in PrAd and NEPC, respectively. Given the lack of effective treatments for NEPC, CEACAM5 appeared to be a promising target for cell-based immunotherapy. As a proof of concept, engineered chimeric antigen receptor T cells targeting CEACAM5 induced antigen-specific cytotoxicity in NEPC cell lines. Our findings demonstrate that the surfaceomes of PrAd and NEPC reflect unique cancer differentiation states and broadly represent vulnerabilities amenable to therapeutic targeting.

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