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Bladder expression of CD cell surface antigens and cell-type-specific transcriptomes


Many cell types have no known functional attributes. In the bladder and prostate, basal epithelial and stromal cells appear similar in cytomorphology and share several cell surface markers. Their total gene expression (transcriptome) should provide a clear measure of the extent to which they are alike functionally. Since urologic stromal cells are known to mediate organ-specific tissue formation, these cells in cancers might exhibit aberrant gene expression affecting their function. For transcriptomes, cluster designation (CD) antigens have been identified for cell sorting. The sorted cell populations can be analyzed by DNA microarrays. Various bladder cell types have unique complements of CD molecules. CD9+ urothelial, CD104+ basal and CD13+ stromal cells of the lamina propria were therefore analyzed, as were CD9+ cancer and CD13+ cancer-associated stromal cells. The transcriptome datasets were compared by principal components analysis for relatedness between cell types; those with similarity in gene expression indicated similar function. Although bladder and prostate basal cells shared CD markers such as CD104, CD44 and CD49f, they differed in overall gene expression. Basal cells also lacked stem cell gene expression. The bladder luminal and stromal transcriptomes were distinct from their prostate counterparts. In bladder cancer, not only the urothelial but also the stromal cells showed gene expression alteration. The cancer process in both might thus involve defective stromal signaling. These cell-type transcriptomes provide a means to monitor in vitro models in which various CD-isolated cell types can be combined to study bladder differentiation and bladder tumor development based on cell-cell interaction.

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Bladder cancer


Cluster designation


Embryonal carcinoma


Embryonic stem


Magnetic cell sorting


Minimum information about a microarray experiment


Normal bladder


Principal components analysis


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We thank Pamela Troisch and Bruz Marzolf at the Institute for Systems Biology for array analysis, Susan Saiget for CD antibodies and Adam van Mason for specimen collection.

Author information

Correspondence to Alvin Y. Liu.

Additional information

Funding from the NCI Early Detection Research Network (CA111244 to A.Y.L.) and the NCI Pacific Northwest Prostate Cancer SPORE (P50CA097186) was used to support these studies.

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Liu, A.Y., Vêncio, R.Z.N., Page, L.S. et al. Bladder expression of CD cell surface antigens and cell-type-specific transcriptomes. Cell Tissue Res 348, 589–600 (2012).

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  • Bladder cell
  • CD phenotypes
  • Cell transcriptomes
  • Bladder cancer
  • Gene expression
  • Cancer-associated stromal cells