Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is the benign enlargement of the prostate gland that occurs in older men, obstructing bladder outflow. The resultant lower urinary tract symptoms, such as urgency, frequency and incomplete emptying, have considerable morbidity, and carry annual healthcare costs in the Billions. Current BPH treatments are not very effective because the drugs target normal prostate physiology but not BPH pathophysiology, which is still poorly understood. Next generation, disease-targeted therapies will require a more detailed knowledge of BPH pathogenesis. In genomic studies of BPH clinical samples, we discovered a singular, massive overexpression of Bone Morphogenetic Protein 5 (BMP5) in BPH. BMPs, members of the TGF-beta superfamily, have important roles in tissue morphogenesis, though BMP5 itself has not been extensively studied. In pilot single-cell analyses, we identified a poorly characterized fibroblast cell type enriched in BPH stroma as the principle cell expressing BMP5. Remarkably, addition of recombinant BMP5 to prostatic cells in culture alters their gene-expression profiles to more closely resemble the profiles that we observe in the BPH clinical specimens. From these data, we hypothesize that BMP5 orchestrates key molecular and cellular changes underlying the BPH disease process. As such, therapies that abrogate BMP5 signaling may provide a new precision approach to prevent or treat BPH. Towards that goal, the proposed studies aim to Define the prostatic cell type and triggers of BMP5 production in BPH; Define the cell types and receptors for BMP5 signal transduction in BPH; and Determine whether blockade of BMP5 signaling reverses BPH disease phenotypes. Study findings will provide important new insight into the prostatic cells and signaling orchestrated by BMP5, and key validation data towards new disease-targeted therapies for BPH.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and associated lower urinary tract symptoms represent a major disease burden among older men. The proposed studies aim to investigate the Bone Morphogenetic Protein 5 (BMP5) signaling pathway newly implicated in BPH pathogenesis. Findings will further our knowledge of BPH pathogenesis, and provide key validation towards new disease-targeted therapies for BPH.