Clonogenically Culturing and Expanding CD34+ Liver Cancer Stem Cells in Vitro.
ABSTRACT: A large number of cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been isolated and identified; however, none has been cultured in an unlimited manner in vitro without losing tumorigenicity and multipotency. In this study, we successfully clonogenically cultured a newly identified CD34+ liver CSC (LCSC) on feeder cells up to 22 passages (to date) without losing CSC property. Cloned CD34+ LCSC formed a round packed morphology and it could also be cryopreserved and recultured. Stem cell markers, CD34, CD117, and SOX2; normal liver stem cell markers, alpha fetoprotein, CK19, CK18, and OV6; putative CSC markers, CD44, CD133, EpCAM, and CD90; as well as CD31 were expressed in cloned CD34+ LCSC. SOX2 was the major factor in maintaining this LCSC before colonization, and interestingly, OCT4, SOX2, NAONG, Klf4, c-Myc, and Lin28 were upregulated in association with symmetric self-renewal for colony growth of CD34+ LCSC on feeder cells. Gene expression patterns of in vitro differentiation were consistent with our in vivo finding; furthermore, the tumorigenicity of cloned CD34+ LCSC was not different from uncloned CD34+ LCSC sorted from parental PLC. These results show that our cloned CD34+ LCSC maintained CSC property, including self-renewal, bipotency, and tumorigenicity after long-term culture, demonstrating that this LCSC can be cultured in an unlimited manner in vitro. Thus, establishing pure population of CSCs isolated from the patients will provide an opportunity to explore the mechanisms of tumorigenesis and cancer development, and to identify unique biomarkers presenting potential indicators of drug efficacy against CSCs for establishment of a novel strategy for cancer therapy.
Project description:A large number of cancer stem cells (CSCs) were identified and characterized; however, the origins and formation of CSCs remain elusive. In this study, we examined the origination of the newly identified CD34(+) liver CSC (LCSC). We found that CD34(+) LCSC coexpressed liver stem cell and myelomonocytic cell markers, showing a mixed phenotype, a combination of hepatobiliary stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) and myelomonocytic cells. Moreover, human xenografts produced by CD34(+) LCSCs and the parental cells, which CD34(+) LCSC was isolated from, coexpressed liver cancer and myelomonocytic markers, also demonstrating mixed phenotypes. The xenografts and the parental cells secreted albumin demonstrating their hepatocyte origin and also expressed cytokines [interleukin (IL)-1b, IL-6, IL-12A, IL-18, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-?), and CSF1] and chemokines (IL-8, CCL2, and CCL5). Expression of these cytokines and chemokines responded to the stimuli [interferon-? (INF-?), IL-4, and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)]. Furthermore, human xenografts and the parental cells phagocytized Escherichia coli. CD34(+) LCSC coexpressed CD45, demonstrating that its origin appears to be from a hematopoietic precursor. The percentage of cells positive for OV6, CD34, and CD31, presenting the markers of HSPC, hematopoietic, and myelomonocytic cells, increased under treatment of CD34(+) LCSC with a drug. Cytogenetic analysis showed that CD34(+) LCSC contained a greater number of chromosomes. HBV DNA integrations and mutations in CD34(+) LCSC and the parental cells were identical to those in the literature or the database. Thus, these results demonstrated that CD34(+) LCSCs were formed by fusion of HSPC with CD34(+) hematopoietic precursor-derived myeloid intermediates; it appears that this is the first report that human CSCs have been formed by the fusion. Therefore, it represents a significant step toward better understanding of the formation of human CSC and the diverse origins of liver cancers.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>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.<h4>Methods</h4>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.<h4>Results</h4>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.<h4>Conclusions</h4>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:The repressive Hippo pathway has a profound tumour suppressive role in cancer by restraining the growth-promoting function of the transcriptional coactivator, YAP. We previously showed that the stem cell transcription factor Sox2 maintains cancer stem cells (CSCs) in osteosarcomas. We now report that in these tumours, Sox2 antagonizes the Hippo pathway by direct repression of two Hippo activators, Nf2 (Merlin) and WWC1 (Kibra), leading to exaggerated YAP function. Repression of Nf2, WWC1 and high YAP expression marks the CSC fraction of the tumor population, while the more differentiated fraction has high Nf2, high WWC1 and reduced YAP expression. YAP depletion sharply reduces CSCs and tumorigenicity of osteosarcomas. Thus, Sox2 interferes with the tumour-suppressive Hippo pathway to maintain CSCs in osteosarcomas. This Sox2-Hippo axis is conserved in other Sox2-dependent cancers such as glioblastomas. Disruption of YAP transcriptional activity could be a therapeutic strategy for Sox2-dependent tumours.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>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).<h4>Objective</h4>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.<h4>Methods</h4>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.<h4>Results</h4>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.<h4>Conclusion</h4>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 (CSCs) are considered to be responsible for the dismal prognosis of cancer patients. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying the acquisition and maintenance of CSC properties in cancer cells because of their rarity in clinical samples. We herein induced CSC properties in cancer cells using defined factors. We retrovirally introduced a set of defined factors (OCT3/4, SOX2 and KLF4) into human colon cancer cells, followed by culture with conventional serum-containing medium, not human embryonic stem cell medium. We then evaluated the CSC properties in the cells. The colon cancer cells transduced with the three factors showed significantly enhanced CSC properties in terms of the marker gene expression, sphere formation, chemoresistance and tumorigenicity. We designated the cells with CSC properties induced by the factors, a subset of the transduced cells, as induced CSCs (iCSCs). Moreover, we established a novel technology to isolate and collect the iCSCs based on the differences in the degree of the dye-effluxing activity enhancement. The xenografts derived from our iCSCs were not teratomas. Notably, in contrast to the tumors from the parental cancer cells, the iCSC-based tumors mimicked actual human colon cancer tissues in terms of their immunohistological findings, which showed colonic lineage differentiation. In addition, we confirmed that the phenotypes of our iCSCs were reproducible in serial transplantation experiments. By introducing defined factors, we generated iCSCs with lineage specificity directly from cancer cells, not via an induced pluripotent stem cell state. The novel method enables us to obtain abundant materials of CSCs that not only have enhanced tumorigenicity, but also the ability to differentiate to recapitulate a specific type of cancer tissues. Our method can be of great value to fully understand CSCs and develop new therapies targeting CSCs.
Project description:Tumors evolve from initial tumorigenic events into increasingly aggressive behaviors in a process usually driven by subpopulations of cancer stem cells (CSCs). Mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) may act as the cell-of-origin for sarcomas, and CSCs that present MSC features have been identified in sarcomas due to their ability to grow as self-renewed floating spheres (tumorspheres). Accordingly, we previously developed sarcoma models using human MSCs transformed with relevant oncogenic events. To study the evolution/emergence of CSC subpopulations during tumor progression, we compared the tumorigenic properties of bulk adherent cultures and tumorsphere-forming subpopulations both in the sarcoma cell-of-origin models (transformed MSCs) and in their corresponding tumor xenograft-derived cells. Tumor formation assays showed that the tumorsphere cultures from xenograft-derived cells, but not from the cell-of-origin models, were enriched in CSCs, providing evidence of the emergence of bona fide CSCs subpopulations during tumor progression. Relevant CSC-related factors, such as ALDH1 and SOX2, were increasingly upregulated in CSCs during tumor progression, and importantly, the increased levels and activity of ALDH1 in these subpopulations were associated with enhanced tumorigenicity. In addition to being a CSC marker, our findings indicate that ALDH1 could also be useful for tracking the malignant potential of CSC subpopulations during sarcoma evolution.
Project description:To assess the role of telomerase activity and telomere length in pancreatic CSCs we used different CSC enrichment methods (CD133, ALDH, sphere formation) in primary patient-derived pancreatic cancer cells. We show that CSCs have higher telomerase activity and longer telomeres than bulk tumor cells. Inhibition of telomerase activity, using genetic knockdown or pharmacological inhibitor (BIBR1532), resulted in CSC marker depletion, abrogation of sphere formation in vitro and reduced tumorigenicity in vivo. Furthermore, we identify a positive feedback loop between stemness factors (NANOG, OCT3/4, SOX2, KLF4) and telomerase, which is essential for the self-renewal of CSCs. Disruption of the balance between telomerase activity and stemness factors eliminates CSCs via induction of DNA damage and apoptosis in primary patient-derived pancreatic cancer samples, opening future perspectives to avoid CSC-driven tumor relapse. In the present study, we demonstrate that telomerase regulation is critical for the "stemness" maintenance in pancreatic CSCs and examine the effects of telomerase inhibition as a potential treatment option of pancreatic cancer. This may significantly promote our understanding of PDAC tumor biology and may result in improved treatment for pancreatic cancer patients.
Project description:Sox2 is required to maintain osteosarcoma cell tumor initiation.Knockdown of Sox2 leads tpo loss of tumorigenic properties. To examine gene expression changes upon Sox2 knockdown, we performed microarray analysis on mouse osteosarcoma cells expressing scrambled or Sox2shRNA. We found that genes upregulated upon Sox2 knockdown included osteoblast diffrentiation genes and genes down regulated included cell cycle and RNA processing genes as well as YAP-TEAD target genes. The Hippo pathway has a profound tumor suppressive role in cancer by restraining the strong growth-promoting function of YAP. We have previously shown that the stem cell transcription factor Sox2 maintains the tumorigenicity of osteosarcoma cancer stem cells (CSCs). In this report, we describe that Sox2 maintains stemness by antagonizing the Hippo pathway via direct repression of Hippo activators, Nf2 (Merlin) and WWC1 (Kibra), thereby leading to exaggerated YAP function. YAP is potently oncogenic in osteosarcoma and its depletion sharply reduces the tumorigenic CSC fraction. Low Nf2, low WWC1, and high YAP expression mark the CSC fraction of the tumor population, while the more differentiated fraction has high Nf2, high WWC1 and reduced YAP expression. This Sox2-Hippo axis is conserved and also operates in other Sox2-dependent cancers such as glioblastomas. We propose that disruption of YAP transcriptional activity reduces CSCs and could be a therapeutic strategy for Sox2- dependent tumors. Gene expression of 482 mouse lines mOS482 were analyzed by microarray. 3 replicates each of scrambled and Sox2shRNA were processed and hybridized
Project description:The stem cell transcription factor Sox2 is highly expressed in many cancers where it is thought to mark cancer stem cells (CSCs). In osteosarcomas, the most common bone malignancy, high Sox2 expression marks and maintains a fraction of tumor-initiating cells that show all the properties of CSC. Knockdown of Sox2 expression abolishes tumorigenicity and suppresses the CSC phenotype. Here we show that, in a mouse model of osteosarcoma, osteoblast-specific Sox2 conditional knockout (CKO) causes a drastic reduction in the frequency and onset of tumors. The rare tumors detected in the Sox2 CKO animals were all Sox2 positive, indicating that they arose from cells that had escaped Sox2 deletion. Furthermore, Sox2 inactivation in cultured osteosarcoma cells by CRISPR/CAS technology leads to a loss of viability and proliferation of the entire cell population. Inactivation of the YAP gene, a major Hippo pathway effector which is a direct Sox2 target, causes similar results and YAP overexpression rescues cells from the lethality caused by Sox2 inactivation. These effects were osteosarcoma-specific, suggesting a mechanism of cell "addiction" to Sox2-initiated pathways. The requirement of Sox2 for osteosarcoma formation as well as for the survival of the tumor cells suggests that disruption of Sox2-initiated pathways could be an effective strategy for the treatment of osteosarcoma.
Project description:Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been involved in the maintenance, progression and relapse of several tumors, but their origin is still elusive. Here, in vitro transformed human fibroblasts (cen3tel cells) and the tumorsphere assay were used to search for and possibly characterize CSCs in transformed somatic cells. Cen3tel cells formed spheres showing self-renewal capacity and Sox2 overexpression, suggesting that they contained a subset of cells with CSC-like features. Sphere cells displayed deregulation of a c-MYC/miR-34a circuitry, likely associated with cell protection from apoptosis. Gene expression profiles of sphere cells revealed an extensive transcriptional reprogramming. Genes up-regulated in tumorspheres identified processes related to tumorigenesis and stemness, as cholesterol biosynthesis, apoptosis suppression, interferon and cytokine mediated signalling pathways. Sphere cells engrafted into NSG mice more rapidly than adherent cells, but both cell populations were tumorigenic. These results indicate that, during transformation, human somatic cells can acquire CSC properties, confirming the high plasticity of tumor cells. However, CSC-like cells are not the only tumorigenic population in transformed cells, indicating that the CSC phenotype and tumorigenicity can be uncoupled.