Ovarian cancer side population defines cells with stem cell-like characteristics and Mullerian Inhibiting Substance responsiveness.
ABSTRACT: The recent identification of "side population" (SP) cells in a number of unrelated human cancers and their normal tissue sources has renewed interest in the hypothesis that cancers may arise from somatic stem/progenitor cells. The high incidence of recurrence attributable to multidrug resistance and the multiple histologic phenotypes indicative of multipotency suggests a stem cell-like etiology of ovarian cancer. Here we identify and characterize SP cells from two distinct genetically engineered mouse ovarian cancer cell lines. Differential efflux of the DNA-binding dye Hoechst 33342 from these cell lines defined a human breast cancer-resistance protein 1-expressing, verapamil-sensitive SP of candidate cancer stem cells. In vivo, mouse SP cells formed measurable tumors sooner than non-SP (NSP) cells when equal numbers were injected into the dorsal fat pad of nude mice. The presence of Mullerian Inhibiting Substance (MIS) signaling pathway transduction molecules in both SP and NSP mouse cells led us to investigate the efficacy of MIS against these populations in comparison with traditional chemotherapies. MIS inhibited the proliferation of both SP and NSP cells, whereas the lipophilic chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin more significantly inhibited the NSP cells. Finally, we identified breast cancer-resistance protein 1-expressing verapamil-sensitive SPs in three of four human ovarian cancer cell lines and four of six patient primary ascites cells. In the future, individualized therapy must incorporate analysis of the stem cell-like subpopulation of ovarian cancer cells when designing therapeutic strategies for ovarian cancer patients.
Project description:Human solid tumors contain rare cancer side population (SP) cells, which expel the fluorescent dye Hoechst 33342 (H33342) and display cancer stem cell characteristics. Transcriptional profiling of cancer SP cells isolated by H33342 fluorescence analysis is a newly emerging approach to discover cancer stem cell markers and aberrant differentiation pathways. Using Affymetrix expression microarrays and quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, we investigated differential gene expression between SP and non-SP (NSP) cells isolated from human mammary carcinoma cell lines. A total of 136 genes were up-regulated in breast cancer SP relative to NSP cells, one of which was the fetal stem cell factor and Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway target SOX17. Strikingly, we discovered that SOX17 was down-regulated by H33342 in a dose-dependent manner. In SP cells, which expel H33342, down-regulation of SOX17 was less pronounced than in NSP cells, which retain H33342. As a result of this, SOX17 displayed a 10-20-fold overexpression in cancer SP relative to NSP cells. Similar results were obtained for further stemness-related genes, namely EPC1 and SPRY1. These findings establish a previously unidentified gene-regulatory impact of H33342 as a novel mechanism responsible for differential gene expression in cancer SP cells. This has significant implications for the future interpretation of cancer SP cells.
Project description:Women with late-stage ovarian cancer usually develop chemotherapeutic-resistant recurrence. It has been theorized that a rare cancer stem cell, which is responsible for the growth and maintenance of the tumor, is also resistant to conventional chemotherapeutics. We have isolated from multiple ovarian cancer cell lines an ovarian cancer stem cell-enriched population marked by CD44, CD24, and Epcam (3+) and by negative selection for Ecadherin (Ecad-) that comprises less than 1% of cancer cells and has increased colony formation and shorter tumor-free intervals in vivo after limiting dilution. Surprisingly, these cells are not only resistant to chemotherapeutics such as doxorubicin, but also are stimulated by it, as evidenced by the significantly increased number of colonies in treated 3+Ecad- cells. Similarly, proliferation of the 3+Ecad- cells in monolayer increased with treatment, by either doxorubicin or cisplatin, compared with the unseparated or cancer stem cell-depleted 3-Ecad+ cells. However, these cells are sensitive to Mullerian inhibiting substance (MIS), which decreased colony formation. MIS inhibits ovarian cancer cells by inducing G1 arrest of the 3+Ecad- subpopulation through the induction of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors. 3+Ecad- cells selectively expressed LIN28, which colocalized by immunofluorescence with the 3+ cancer stem cell markers in the human ovarian carcinoma cell line, OVCAR-5, and is also highly expressed in transgenic murine models of ovarian cancer and in other human ovarian cancer cell lines. These results suggest that chemotherapeutics may be stimulative to cancer stem cells and that selective inhibition of these cells by treating with MIS or targeting LIN28 should be considered in the development of therapeutics.
Project description:Cancer stem cells are proposed to be tumor-initiating cells capable of tumorigenesis, recurrence, metastasis, and drug resistance, and, like somatic stem cells, are thought to be capable of unlimited self-renewal and, when stimulated, proliferation and differentiation. Here we select cells by expression of a panel of markers to enrich for a population with stem cell-like characteristics. A panel of eight was initially selected from 95 human cell surface antigens as each was shared among human ovarian primary cancers, ovarian cancer cell lines, and normal fimbria. A total of 150 combinations of markers were reduced to a panel of three--CD44, CD24, and Epcam--which selected, in three ovarian cancer cell lines, those cells which best formed colonies. Cells expressing CD44, CD24, and Epcam exhibited stem cell characteristics of shorter tumor-free intervals in vivo after limiting dilution, and enhanced migration in invasion assays in vitro. Also, doxorubicin, cisplatin, and paclitaxel increased this enriched population which, conversely, was significantly inhibited by Müllerian inhibiting substance (MIS) or the MIS mimetic SP600125. These findings demonstrate that flow cytometry can be used to detect a population which shows differential drug sensitivity, and imply that treatment of patients can be individualized to target both stem/progenitor cell enriched and nonenriched subpopulations. The findings also suggest that this population, amenable to isolation by flow cytometry, can be used to screen for novel treatment paradigms, including biologic agents such as MIS, which will improve outcomes for patients with ovarian cancer.
Project description:Cancer stem-like side population (SP) cells have been identified in many solid tumors; however, most of these investigations are performed using established cancer cell lines. Cancer cells in tumor tissue containing fibroblasts and many other types of cells are much more complex than any cancer cell line. Although SP cells were identified in the laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) cell line Hep-2 in our pilot study, it is unknown whether the LSCC tissue contains SP cells. In this study, LSCC cells (LSCCs) were primary cultured and purified from a surgically resected LSCC specimen derived from a well-differentiated epiglottic neoplasm of a Chinese male. This was followed by the verification of epithelium-specific characteristics, such as ultrastructure and biomarkers. A distinct SP subpopulation (4.45±1.07%) was isolated by Hoechst 33342 efflux analysis from cultured LSCCs by using a flow cytometer. Cancer stem cell (CSC)-associated assays, including expression of self-renewal and CSC marker genes, proliferation, differentiation, spheroid formation, chemotherapy resistance, and tumorigenicity were then conducted between SP and non-SP (NSP) LSCCs. In vitro and in vivo assays revealed that SP cells manifested preferential expression of self-renewal and CSC marker genes, higher capacity for proliferation, differentiation, and spheroid formation; enhanced resistance to chemotherapy; and greater xenograft tumorigenicity in immunodeficient mice compared with NSP cells. These findings suggest that the primary cultured and purified LSCCs contain cancer stem-like SP cells, which may serve as a valuable model for CSC research in LSCC.
Project description:Side population (SP) and ABC transporter expression enrich for stem cells in numerous tissues. We explored if this phenotype characterised human bladder cancer stem cells (CSCs) and attempted to identify regulatory mechanisms. Focusing on non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC), multiple human cell lines were used to characterise SP and ABC transporter expression. In vitro and in vivo phenotypic and functional assessments of CSC behaviour were undertaken. Expression of putative CSC marker ABCG2 was assessed in clinical NMIBC samples (n?=?148), and a role for MAPK signalling, a central mechanism of bladder tumourigenesis, was investigated. Results showed that the ABCG2 transporter was predominantly expressed and was up-regulated in the SP fraction by 3-fold (ABCG2(hi)) relative to the non-SP (NSP) fraction (ABCG2(low)). ABCG2(hi) SP cells displayed enrichment of stem cell markers (Nanog, Notch1 and SOX2) and a three-fold increase in colony forming efficiency (CFE) in comparison to ABCG2(low) NSP cells. In vivo, ABCG2(hi) SP cells enriched for tumour growth compared with ABCG2(low) NSP cells, consistent with CSCs. pERK was constitutively active in ABCG2(hi) SP cells and MEK inhibition also inhibited the ABCG2(hi) SP phenotype and significantly suppressed CFE. Furthermore, on examining clinical NMIBC samples, ABCG2 expression correlated with increased recurrence and decreased progression free survival. Additionally, pERK expression also correlated with decreased progression free survival, whilst a positive correlation was further demonstrated between ABCG2 and pERK expression. In conclusion, we confirm ABCG2(hi) SP enriches for CSCs in human NMIBC and MAPK/ERK pathway is a suitable therapeutic target.
Project description:Drug resistance and brisk tumor initiation have traditionally been viewed as preexisting phenotypes present in small subpopulations of neoplastic cells sometimes termed cancer stem cells. However, recent work in cancer cell lines has shown that drug-resistant tumor-initiating features can emerge de novo within fractionated subpopulations of cells initially lacking these phenotypes. In the present study, we asked whether such phenotypic plasticity exists broadly in unperturbed cancer cell lines and tumor xenografts growing spontaneously without interventions such as drug selection or fractionation into subpopulations used in prior studies. To address this question, we used side population (SP) analysis combined with fluorescence labeling to identify a drug-resistant highly tumorigenic subpopulation and to track and analyze its interaction with the larger phenotypically negative population over time. Remarkably, we observed that SP size fluctuated in a cyclical manner: first contracting via differentiation into the non-SP (NSP) and then reexpanding via simultaneous direct conversion of numerous NSP cells back to the SP phenotype both in culture and in tumor xenografts. These findings show for the first time that adaptive, cancer-promoting traits such as drug resistance and brisk tumor initiation arise not only as solitary events under selective pressures but also as highly orchestrated transitions occurring concurrently in large numbers of cells even without specifically induced drug selection, ectopic gene expression, or fractionation into subpopulations. This high level of coordinated phenotypic plasticity bears consideration when using cancer cell lines as experimental models and may have significant implications for therapeutic efforts targeting cancer stem cells, which are marked by a drug-resistant tumor-initiating phenotype.
Project description:The recent identification of "Side Population" (SP) cells in a number of unrelated human cancers has renewed interests in the hypothesis of cancer stem cells. Here we isolated SP cells from HepG2 cells and 18 of the 21 fresh hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissue samples. These SP cells have higher abilities of forming spheroids, invasion and migration. Tumors could generate only from SP, not non-SP (NSP), cells in a low dose of subcutaneous injection to the NOD/SCID mice (5?×?102 cells/mouse). The mRNA microarray analysis of the SP vs. NSP cells isolated from HepG2 cells revealed that the SP cells express higher levels of pluripotency- and stem cell-associated transcription factors including Klf4, NF-Ya, SALL4 and HMGA2. Some of the known hepatobiliary progenitor/stem cell markers, such as Sox9 was also up-regulated. RT-qPCR analysis of the gene expression between SP cells and NSP cells isolated from both HepG2 cells and HCC tissue samples showed that most of the tested mRNAs' changes were in consistent with the microarray data, including the general progenitor/stem cells markers such as Klf4, NF-Ya, SALL4 and HMGA2, which were up-regulated in SP cells. Our data indicates that HCC cancer stem cells exist in HepG2 and HCC fresh tissue samples and can be isolated by SP assay.
Project description:Objective: DUSP6 is a negative regulator of the ERK signaling pathway and plays an important role in chemotherapy-resistance. Previously we showed that DUSP6 is overexpressed in ovarian cancer side population (SP) cells that possess cancer stem cell-like properties and are quiescent and chemotherapy-resistant. Here, we explore the effects of DUSP6 on chemotherapy-resistance by examining its regulation of the ERK signaling pathway and G0/G1 cell cycle arrest. Methods: mRNA and protein expression of DUSP6 and G0/G1 cell cycle checkpoint regulating proteins (CyclinD1, CyclinD3 and CyclinE2) was evaluated among ovarian cancer cell lines and tissue samples. Ovarian cancer cells were transiently transfected to overexpress DUSP6. After treatment with cisplatin, cell viability was measured by the MTS assay at 48 hours and the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) for each cell line was calculated. Subcellular localization and cell cycle analysis were determined by using immunofluorescence and FACS, respectively. Results: SKOV3 and OVCAR8 SP cells were shown to express higher levels of DUSP6 and lower levels of CyclinD3 compared with non-SP (NSP) cells (P<0.001). Among 39 ovarian cancer tissue samples, expression of DUSP6 in the chemotherapy-resistant group (12 samples) was higher than in the chemotherapy-sensitive group (27 samples) (P<0.05). While a lower level of expression of CyclinD3 was seen in the chemotherapy-resistant group, it was not statistically different from the chemotherapy-sensitive group. HO8910 cells where shown to have higher IC50 to cisplatin than SKOV3 or OVCAR8 cells, and this correlated with higher levels of DUSP6 expression. Overexpression of DUSP6 in SKOV3 cells led to an increase in cisplatin IC50 values (P<0.05), and also markedly reduced the expression levels of phospho-ERK1/2 and CyclinD3 and to the predominance of cells in the G0/G1 phase. Conclusion: Our findings reveal an enhancement of chemotherapy-resistance and a predominance of cells in G1 cell cycle arrest in DUSP6-overexpressing ovarian cancer cells. This suggests that overexpression of DUSP6 promotes chemotherapy-resistance through the negative regulation of the ERK signaling pathway, increasing the G0/G1 phase ratio among ovarian cancer cells, and leading to cellular quiescence.
Project description:A major challenge in the treatment of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is the failure of chemotherapy, which is likely due to the presence of the cancer stem cells (CSCs).To identify side population (SP) cells and characterize s-like properties in human pancreatic cancer cell lines (h-PCCLs) and to exploit the efficacy of concomitant targeting of multiple key transcription factors governing the stemness of pancreatic CSCs in suppressing CSC-like phenotypes.Flow cytometry and Hoechst 33342 DNA-binding dye efflux assay were used to sort SP and non-SP (NSP) cells from three h-PCCLs: PANC-1, SW1990, and BxPc-3. The self-renewal ability, invasiveness, migration and drug resistance of SP cells were evaluated. Expression of CSC marker genes was analyzed. Tumorigenicity was assessed using a xenograft model in nude mice. Effects of a complex decoy oligonucleotide (cdODN-SCO) designed to simultaneously targeting Sox2, Oct4 and c-Myc were assessed.CSCs were enriched in the side proportion (SP) cells contained in the h-PCCLs and they possessed aggressive growth, invasion, migration and drug-resistance properties, compared with NSP cells. SP cells overexpressed stem cell markers CD133 and ALDH1, pluripotency maintaining factors Nanog, Sox2 and Oct4, oncogenic transcription factor c-Myc, signaling molecule Notch1, and drug resistant gene ABCG2. Moreover, SP cells consistently demonstrated significantly greater tumorigenicity than NSP cells in xenograft model of nude mice. CdODN-SOC efficiently suppressed all CSC properties and phenotypes, and minimized the tumorigenic capability of the SP cells and the resistance to chemotherapy. By comparison, the negative control failed to do so.The findings indicate that targeting the key genes conferring the stemness of CSCs can efficiently eliminate CSC-like phenotypes, and thus may be considered a new approach for cancer therapy. Specifically, the present study establishes the combination of Sox2/Oct4/c-Myc targeting as a potential anti-pancreatic cancer agent worthy of further studies in preclinical settings.
Project description:Cancer stem cells are key drivers of tumor progression and disease recurrence in multiple myeloma (MM). However, little is known about the regulation of MM stem cells. Here, we show that a population of MM cells, known as the side population (SP), exhibits stem-like properties. Cells that constitute the SP in primary MM isolates are negative or seldom expressed for CD138 and CD20 markers. In addition, the SP population contains stem cells that belong to the same lineage as the mature neoplastic plasma cells. Importantly, our data indicate that the SP and nonside population (NSP) percentages in heterogeneous MM cells are balanced, and that this balance can be achieved through a prolonged in vitro culture. Furthermore, we show that SP cells, with confirmed molecular characteristics of MM stem cells, can be regenerated from purified NSP cell populations. We also show that the percentage of SP cells can be enhanced by the hypoxic stress, which is frequently observed within MM tumors. Finally, hypoxic stress enhanced the expression of transforming growth factor ?1 (TGF-?1) and blocking the TGF-?1 signaling pathway inhibited the NSP dedifferentiation. Taken together, these findings indicate that the balance between MM SP and NSP is regulated by environmental factors and TGF-?1 pathway is involved in hypoxia-induced increase of SP population. Understanding the mechanisms that facilitate SP maintenance will accelerate the design of novel therapeutics aimed at controlling these cells in MM.