A study shows that the protein Bmi-1 helps transform healthy cells into prostate cancer (PCa) cells. Necessary for regulating self-renewal of normal prostate stem cells, Bmi-1 is often up-regulated in prostate cancer.

Previous studies have linked the protein with higher-grade cancers and poor prognosis. The current research, performed in primary cells and in animal models, indicates that Bmi-1 is a crucial regulator of self-renewal in adult prostate cells and has important roles in PCa initiation and progression, according to a report in Cell Stem Cell. 2010;7:682-693).