Plasma membrane proteomics of tumor spheres identify CD166 as a novel marker for cancer stem-like cells in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
ABSTRACT: Patients with advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) have a poor prognosis with the currently available therapy, and tumor recurrence is frequently observed. The discovery of specific membrane-associated cancer stem cell (CSC) markers is crucial for the development of novel therapeutic strategies to target these CSCs. To address this issue, we established sphere cultures to enrich CSCs and used them for plasma membrane proteomics to identify specific membrane signatures of the HNSCC spheres. Of a dataset that included a total of 376 identified proteins, 200 were bona fide membrane proteins. Among them, 123 proteins were at least 1.5-fold up- or down-regulated in the spheres relative to the adherent cultures. These proteins included cell adhesion molecules, receptors, and transporter proteins. Some of them play key roles in wnt, integrin, and TGF? signaling pathways. When we compared our dataset with two published hESC membrane protein signatures, we found 18 proteins common to all three of the databases. CD166 and CD44 were two such proteins. Interestingly, the expression of CD166, rather than that of the well-established HNSCC CSC marker CD44, was significantly related to the malignant behavior of HNSCC. Relative to CD166(low) HNSCC cells, CD166(high) HNSCC cells had a greater sphere-formation ability in vitro and tumor formation ability in vivo. Patients whose tumors expressed high levels of CD166 had a significantly poorer clinical outcome than those whose tumors expressed low levels of CD166 (cohort 1: 96 cases, p = 0.040), whereas the level of CD44 expression had only a marginal influence on the clinical outcome of patients with HNSCC (p = 0.078). The level of CD166 expression in HNSCC tumors was also associated with the tumor recurrence rate (cohort 2: 104 cases, p = 0.016). This study demonstrates that CD166 is a valuable cell surface marker for the enrichment of HNSCC stem cells and that plasma membrane proteomics is a promising biological tool for investigating the membrane proteins of CSCs.
Project description:We have an incomplete understanding of the differences between cancer stem cells (CSCs) in human papillomavirus-positive (HPV-positive) and -negative (HPV-negative) head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC). The PI3K pathway has the most frequent activating genetic events in HNSCC (especially HPV-positive driven), but the differential signaling between CSCs and non-CSCs is also unknown.We addressed these unresolved questions using CSCs identified from 10 HNSCC patient-derived xenografts (PDXs). Sored populations were serially passaged in nude mice to evaluate tumorigenicity and tumor recapitulation. The transcription profile of HNSCC CSCs was characterized by mRNA sequencing, and the susceptibility of CSCs to therapy was investigated using an in vivo model. SOX2 transcriptional activity was used to follow the asymmetric division of PDX-derived CSCs. All statistical tests were two-sided.CSCs were enriched by high aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity and CD44 expression and were similar between HPV-positive and HPV-negative cases (percent tumor formation injecting ? 1x10(3) cells: ALDH(+)CD44(high) = 65.8%, ALDH(-)CD44(high) = 33.1%, ALDH(+)CD44(high) = 20.0%; and injecting 1x10(5) cells: ALDH(-)CD44(low) = 4.4%). CSCs were resistant to conventional therapy and had PI3K/mTOR pathway overexpression (GSEA pathway enrichment, P < .001), and PI3K inhibition in vivo decreased their tumorigenicity (40.0%-100.0% across cases). PI3K/mTOR directly regulated SOX2 protein levels, and SOX2 in turn activated ALDH1A1 (P < .001 013C and 067C) expression and ALDH activity (ALDH(+) [%] empty-control vs SOX2, 0.4% ± 0.4% vs 14.5% ± 9.8%, P = .03 for 013C and 1.7% ± 1.3% vs 3.6% ± 3.4%, P = .04 for 067C) in 013C and 067 cells. SOX2 enhanced sphere and tumor growth (spheres/well, 013C P < .001 and 067C P = .04) and therapy resistance. SOX2 expression prompted mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET) by inducing CDH1 (013C P = .002, 067C P = .01), followed by asymmetric division and proliferation, which contributed to tumor formation.The molecular link between PI3K activation and CSC properties found in this study provides insights into therapeutic strategies for HNSCC. Constitutive expression of SOX2 in HNSCC cells generates a CSC-like population that enables CSC studies.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are regarded as the cause of tumor formation and recurrence. The isolation and identification of CSCs could help to develop novel therapeutic strategies specifically targeting CSCs.<h4>Methods</h4>Human hepatoma cell lines were plated in stem cell conditioned culture system allowed for sphere forming. To evaluate the stemness characteristics of spheres, the self-renewal, proliferation, chemoresistance, tumorigenicity of the PLC/PRF/5 sphere-forming cells, and the expression levels of stem cell related proteins in the PLC/PRF/5 sphere-forming cells were assessed, comparing with the parental cells. The stem cell RT-PCR array was performed to further explore the biological properties of liver CSCs.<h4>Results</h4>The PLC/PRF/5, MHCC97H and HepG2 cells could form clonal nonadherent 3-D spheres and be serially passaged. The PLC/PRF/5 sphere-forming cells possessed a key criteria that define CSCs: persistent self-renewal, extensive proliferation, drug resistance, overexpression of liver CSCs related proteins (Oct3/4, OV6, EpCAM, CD133 and CD44). Even 500 sphere-forming cells were able to form tumors in NOD/SCID mice, and the tumor initiating capability was not decreased when spheres were passaged. Besides, downstream proteins DTX1 and Ep300 of the CSL (CBF1 in humans, Suppressor of hairless in Drosophila and LAG1 in C. elegans) -independent Notch signaling pathway were highly expressed in the spheres, and a gamma-secretase inhibitor MRK003 could significantly inhibit the sphere formation ability.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Nonadherent tumor spheres from hepatoma cell lines cultured in stem cell conditioned medium possess liver CSC properties, and the CSL-independent Notch signaling pathway may play a role in liver CSCs.
Project description:Cancer stem cells (CSCs) can contribute to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) progression and recurrence after therapy. The presence of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) in patients with HCC is associated with poor outcomes. It is not clear whether TAMs interact with CSCs during HCC development. We investigated whether TAMs affect the activities of CSCs in the microenvironment of human HCCs.HCCs were collected from 17 patients during surgical resection and single-cell suspensions were analyzed by flow cytometry. CD14(+) TAMs were isolated from the HCC cell suspensions and placed into co-culture with HepG2 or Hep3B cells, and CSC functions were measured. The interleukin 6 (IL6) receptor was blocked with a monoclonal antibody (tocilizumab), and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 was knocked down with small hairpin RNAs in HepG2 cells. Xenograft tumors were grown in NOD-SCID/Il2Rg(null) mice from human primary HCC cells or HepG2 cells.CD44(+) cells from human HCCs and cell lines formed more spheres in culture and more xenograft tumors in mice than CD44(-) cells, indicating that CD44(+) cells are CSCs. Incubation of the CD44(+) cells with TAMs promoted expansion of CD44(+) cells, and increased their sphere formation in culture and formation of xenograft tumors in mice. In human HCC samples, the numbers of TAMs correlated with the numbers of CD44(+) cells. Of all cytokines expressed by TAMs, IL6 was increased at the highest level in human HCC co-cultures, compared with TAMs not undergoing co-culture. IL6 was detected in the microenvironment of HCC samples and induced expansion of CD44(+) cells in culture. Levels of IL6 correlated with stages of human HCCs and detection of CSC markers. Incubation of HCC cell lines with tocilizumab or knockdown of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 in HCC cells reduced the ability of TAMs to promote sphere formation by CD44+ cells in culture and growth of xenograft tumors in mice.CD44(+) cells isolated from human HCC tissues and cell lines have CSC activities in vitro and form a larger number of xenograft tumors in mice than CD44(-) cells. TAMs produce IL6, which promotes expansion of these CSCs and tumorigenesis. Levels of IL6 in human HCC samples correlate with tumor stage and markers of CSCs. Blockade of IL6 signaling with tocilizumab, a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, inhibits TAM-stimulated activity of CD44(+) cells. This drug might be used to treat patients with HCC.
Project description:BACKGROUNDS:The role of sphere-forming culture in enriching subpopulations with stem-cell properties in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is unclear. The present study investigates its value in enriching cancer stem cells (CSCs) subpopulations and the mechanism by which HCC CSCs are maintained. METHODS:HCC cell lines and fresh primary tumor cells were cultured in serum-free and ultra-low attachment conditions to allow formation of HCC spheres. In vitro and in vivo experiments were performed to evaluate CSC characteristics. Expression levels of CSC-related genes were assessed by qRT-PCR and the correlation between sphere formation and clinical characteristics was investigated. Finally, gene expression profiling was performed to explore the molecular mechanism underlying HCC CSC maintenance. RESULTS:We found that both cell lines and primary tumor cells formed spheres. HCC spheres possessed the capacity for self-renewal, proliferation, drug resistance, and contained different subpopulations of CSCs. Of interest, 500 sphere-forming Huh7 cells or 200 primary tumor cells could generate tumors in immunodeficient animals. Sphere formation correlated with size, multiple tumors, satellite lesions, and advanced stage. Further investigation identified that the PPARα-SCD1 axis plays an important role in maintenance of the CSC properties of HCC sphere cells by promoting nuclear accumulation of β-Catenin. Inhibition of SCD1 interfered with sphere formation, down-regulated expression of CSC-related markers, and reduced β-Catenin nuclear accumulation. CONCLUSIONS:Sphere-forming culture can effectively enrich subpopulations with stem-cell properties, which are maintained through activation of the PPARα-SCD1 axis. Therefore, we suggest that targeting the SCD1-related CSC machinery might provide a novel insight into HCC treatment.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Cancer stem cells (CSCs) represent a subpopulation of cells responsible for tumor growth. Their role in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) tumorigenesis and metastasis remains uncertain. METHODS:Wound healing and an orthotopic animal model were used to study cells expressing the CSC phenotype (CD44(high) and aldehyde dehydrogenase [ALDH](+)) and assess mobility, tumorigenesis, and metastasis. A prospective collection of 40 patient-derived primary HNSCC specimens were analyzed for CSC-proportion compared to clinical variables. RESULTS:CSCs exhibited significantly faster wound closure and greater tumorigenesis and regional metastasis in vivo than non-CSCs. In primary patient tumors, size and advanced stage were correlated with elevated proportion of CSCs, however, not with survival. CONCLUSION:HNSCC stem cells mediate tumorigenesis and regional metastasis in vivo. In primary patient tumors, CSC-proportion was associated with tumor size and stage, but not with metastatic spread or survival. CSC burden alone may only represent a minor variable in understanding CSCs and metastasis.
Project description:Metastatic gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) frequently are refractory to chemotherapy. Chemoresistance in various malignancies has been attributed to cancer stem cells (CSCs). We sought to identify gastrointestinal neuroendocrine CSCs (N-CSCs) in surgical specimens and a NET cell line and to characterize novel N-CSC therapeutic targets.Human gastrointestinal NETs were evaluated for CSCs using the Aldefluor (Stemcell Technologies, Vancouver, Canada) assay. An in vitro, sphere-forming assay was performed on primary NET cells. CNDT2.5, a human midgut carcinoid cell line, was used for in vitro (sphere-formation) and in vivo (tumorigenicity assays) CSC studies. N-CSC protein expression was characterized using Western blotting. In vivo, systemic short interfering RNA administration targeted Src.By using the Aldefluor assay, aldehyde dehydrogenase-positive (ALDH+) cells comprised 5.8% ± 1.4% (mean ± standard error of the mean) of cells from 19 patient samples. Although many primary cell lines failed to grow, CNDT96 ALDH+ cells formed spheres in anchorage-independent conditions, whereas ALDH- cells did not. CNDT2.5 ALDH+ cells formed spheres, whereas ALDH- cells did not. In vivo, ALDH+ CNDT2.5 cells generated more tumors, with shorter latency than ALDH- or sham-sorted cells. Compared with non-CSCs, ALDH+ cells demonstrated increased expression of activated Src, Erk, Akt, and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). In vivo, anti-Src short interfering RNA treatment of ALDH+ tumors reduced tumor mass by 91%.CSCs are present in NETs, as shown by in vitro sphere formation and in vivo tumorigenicity assays. Src was activated in N-CSCs and represents a potential therapeutic target in gastrointestinal NETs.
Project description:Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a unique EBV-associated epithelial malignancy, showing highly invasive and metastatic phenotype. Despite increasing evidence demonstrating the critical role of cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) in the maintenance and progression of tumors in a variety of malignancies, the existence and properties of CSC in EBV-associated NPC are largely unknown. Our study aims to elucidate the presence and role of CSCs in the pathogenesis of this malignant disease. Sphere-forming cells were isolated from an EBV-positive NPC cell line C666-1 and its tumor-initiating properties were confirmed by in vitro and in vivo assays. In these spheroids, up-regulation of multiple stem cell markers were found. By flow cytometry, we demonstrated that both CD44 and SOX2 were overexpressed in a majority of sphere-forming C666-1 cells. The CD44+SOX2+ cells was detected in a minor population in EBV-positive xenografts and primary tumors and considered as potential CSC in NPC. Notably, the isolated CD44+ NPC cells were resistant to chemotherapeutic agents and with higher spheroid formation efficiency, showing CSC properties. On the other hand, microarray analysis has revealed a number of differentially expressed genes involved in transcription regulation (e.g. FOXN4, GLI1), immune response (CCR7, IL8) and transmembrane transport (e.g. ABCC3, ABCC11) in the spheroids. Among these genes, increased expression of CCR7 in CD44+ CSCs was confirmed in NPC xenografts and primary tumors. Importantly, blocking of CCR7 abolished the sphere-forming ability of C666-1 in vitro. Expression of CCR7 was associated with recurrent disease and distant metastasis. The current study defined the specific properties of a CSC subpopulation in EBV-associated NPC. Our findings provided new insights into developing effective therapies targeting on CSCs, thereby potentiating treatment efficacy for NPC patients.
Project description:Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are comprised of a rare sub-population of cells in tumors that have been proposed to be responsible for high recurrence rates and resistance to chemotherapy. Galectins are highly expressed in cancers that correlate with the aggressiveness of tumors. Galectins may also promote the resistance of cancer cells to chemotherapy. However, the role of galectins in CSCs remains unknown. In this study, sphere formation was used to enrich H1299 human lung CSCs that had self-renewal ability, advanced tumorigenic potential, and that highly expressed stem/progenitor cell markers such as Oct4, Sox2, Nanog, and CD133. A novel candidate molecule, galectin-3, for stemness was found in lung CSCs. The expression of galectin-3 robustly increased in lung cancer spheres over serial passages, but its suppression in the H1299 monolayer or spheres resulted in reduced expression of stemness-related genes, sphere-forming ability, tumorigenicity, chemoresistance, and tumor initiation in mice. Notably, the overexpression of galectin-3 in A549 lung cancer cells, which have low capability to grow as tumor spheres, promoted CSC formation. ?-catenin activity was increased in H1299 spheres and counteracted by galectin-3 suppression. Thus, galectin-3 may act as a cofactor by interacting with ?-catenin to augment the transcriptional activities of stemness-related genes. Furthermore, galectin-3 expression correlated with tumor progression and expressions of ?-catenin and CSC marker CD133 in lung cancer tissues. Targeting galectin-3 signaling may provide a new strategy for lung cancer treatment by inhibiting stem-like properties.
Project description:Cancer stem cells (CSC) drive growth, therapy resistance, and recurrence in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Regulation of protein translation is crucial for normal stem cells and CSCs; its inhibition could disrupt stemness properties, but translation inhibitors are limited clinically due to toxicity. SVC112 is a synthetic derivative of bouvardin, a plant-derived translation elongation inhibitor. SVC112 had greater antiproliferative effects on HNSCC cells compared with the FDA-approved translation inhibitor omacetaxine mepesuccinate (HHT). SVC112 preferentially inhibited cancer cells compared with patient-matched cancer-associated fibroblasts, whereas HHT was equally toxic to both. SVC112 reduced sphere formation by cell lines and CSCs. SVC112 alone inhibited the growth of patient-derived xenografts (PDX), and SVC112 combined with radiation resulted in tumor regression in HPV-positive and HPV-negative HNSCC PDXs. Notably, CSC depletion after SVC112 correlated with tumor response. SVC112 preferentially impeded ribosomal processing of mRNAs critical for stress response and decreased CSC-related proteins including Myc and Sox2. SVC112 increased cell-cycle progression delay and slowed DNA repair following radiation, enhancing colony and sphere formation radiation effects. In summary, these data demonstrate that SVC112 suppresses CSC-related proteins, enhances the effects of radiation, and blocks growth of HNSCC PDXs by inhibiting CSCs. SIGNIFICANCE: Inhibiting protein elongation with SVC112 reduces tumor growth in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and increases the effects of radiation by targeting the cancer stem cell pool.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are responsible for treatment failure. However, their identification and roles in resistance are not well established in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). METHODS: Three HNSCC cell lines (FaDu, Detroit562 and BICR6) were treated with cisplatin or radiation. Cell surface antigens were analysed by LyoPlate, a novel cell surface antigen array. The expression levels of antigens highly expressed after treatments were further compared between cisplatin-resistant Detroit562 cells and its parental line. Association of the candidate antigen with CSCs properties, namely sphere formation and in vivo tumourigenicity, was also examined. RESULTS: CD10, CD15s, CD146 and CD282 were upregulated across the treated cell lines, while the increased expression of CD10 was prominent in the cisplatin-resistant cell line. Isolation mediated by FACS revealed that the CD10-positive subpopulation was more refractory to cisplatin, fluorouracil and radiation than the CD10-negative subpopulation. It also showed an increased ability to form spheres in vitro and tumours in vivo. Moreover, the CD10-positive subpopulation expressed the CSC marker OCT3/4 at a higher level than that in the CD10-negative subpopulation. CONCLUSIONS: CD10 is associated with therapeutic resistance and CSC-like properties of HNSCC. CD10 may serve as a target molecule in the treatment of refractory HNSCC.