Expression of embryonal stem cell transcription factors in breast cancer: Oct4 as an indicator for poor clinical outcome and tamoxifen resistance.
ABSTRACT: The transcription factors of embryonic stem cells, such as Oct4, Sox2, Nanog, Bmi1, and Klf4, are known to be associated with stemness, epithelial-mesenchymal transition and aggressive tumor behavior. This study was designed to evaluate the clinicopathological significance of their expression in breast cancer. Immunohistochemistry for Oct4, Sox2, Nanog, Bmi1, and Klf4 was performed in 319 cases of invasive breast cancer. The relationship between the expression of these markers and clinicopathologic features of the tumors, including breast cancer stem cell phenotype and epithelial-mesenchymal transition marker expression, and their prognostic value in breast cancer, were analyzed. Expression of Oct4 and Sox2 was commonly associated with high histologic grade and high Ki-67 index in the whole group and in the hormone receptor-positive subgroup. On the other hand, expression of Nanog, Bmi1, and Klf4 was inversely correlated with aggressive features of the breast cancer. Oct4 expression was associated with ALDH1 expression but not with epithelial-mesenchymal transition marker expression. In survival analysis, Oct4 expression was independently associated with poor prognosis in the whole group and in the hormone receptor-positive subgroup, but not in hormone receptor-negative subgroup. Particularly, Oct4 expression was associated with poor clinical outcome in patients with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer treated with tamoxifen. Our results indicate that Oct4 expression is associated with aggressive features, ALDH1 expression, tamoxifen resistance and poor clinical outcomes in hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, and thus may be useful as a predictive and prognostic marker in this subgroup of breast cancer.
Project description:Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been identified in many cancer types including primary head and neck cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (HNcSCC). This study aimed to identify and characterize CSCs in metastatic HNcSCC (mHNcSCC). Immunohistochemical staining performed on mHNcSCC samples from 15 patients demonstrated expression of the induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) markers OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, KLF4, and c-MYC in all 15 samples. In situ hybridization and RT-qPCR performed on four of these mHNcSCC tissue samples confirmed transcript expression of all five iPSC markers. Immunofluorescence staining performed on three of these mHNcSCC samples demonstrated expression of c-MYC on cells within the tumor nests (TNs) and the peri-tumoral stroma (PTS) that also expressed KLF4. OCT4 was expressed on the SOX2+/NANOG+/KLF4+ cells within the TNs, and the SOX2+/NANOG+/KLF4+ cells within the PTS. RT-qPCR demonstrated transcript expression of all five iPSC markers in all three mHNcSCC-derived primary cell lines, except for SOX2 in one cell line. Western blotting showed the presence of SOX2, KLF4, and c-MYC but not OCT4 and NANOG in the three mHNcSCC-derived primary cell lines. All three cell lines formed tumorspheres, at the first passage. We demonstrated an OCT4+/NANOG+/SOX2+/KLF4+/c-MYC+ CSC subpopulation and an OCT4+/NANOG-/SOX2+/KLF4+/c-MYC+ subpopulation within the TNs, and an OCT4+/NANOG+/SOX2+/KLF4+/c-MYC+ subpopulation within the PTS of mHNcSCC.
Project description:The transcription factor Yin Yang 1 (YY1) is frequently overexpressed in cancerous tissues compared to normal tissues and has regulatory roles in cell proliferation, cell viability, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, metastasis and drug/immune resistance. YY1 shares many properties with cancer stem cells (CSCs) that drive tumorigenesis, metastasis and drug resistance and are regulated by overexpression of certain transcription factors, including SOX2, OCT4 (POU5F1), BMI1 and NANOG. Based on these similarities, it was expected that YY1 expression would be associated with SOX2, OCT4, BMI1, and NANOG's expressions and activities. Data mining from the proteomic tissue-based datasets from the Human Protein Atlas were used for protein expression patterns of YY1 and the four CSC markers in 17 types of cancer, including both solid and hematological malignancies. A close association was revealed between the frequency of expressions of YY1 and SOX2 as well as SOX2 and OCT4 in all cancers analyzed. Two types of dynamics were identified based on the nature of their association, namely, inverse or direct, between YY1 and SOX2. These two dynamics define distinctive patterns of BMI1 and OCT4 expressions. The relationship between YY1 and SOX2 expressions as well as the expressions of BMI1 and OCT4 resulted in the classification of four groups of cancers with distinct molecular signatures: (1) Prostate, lung, cervical, endometrial, ovarian and glioma cancers (YY1(lo)SOX2(hi)BMI1(hi)OCT4(hi)) (2) Skin, testis and breast cancers (YY1(hi)SOX2(lo)BMI1(hi)OCT4(hi)) (3) Liver, stomach, renal, pancreatic and urothelial cancers (YY1(lo)SOX2(lo)BMI1(hi)OCT4(hi)) and (4) Colorectal cancer, lymphoma and melanoma (YY1(hi)SOX2(hi)BMI1(lo)OCT4(hi)). A regulatory loop is proposed consisting of the cross-talk between the NF-kB/PI3K/AKT pathways and the downstream inter-regulation of target gene products YY1, OCT4, SOX2 and BMI1.
Project description:Background:Fifty percent of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients develop liver metastasis. This study identified and characterized cancer stem cells (CSCs) within colon adenocarcinoma metastasis to the liver (CAML). Methods:3,3-Diaminobenzidine immunohistochemical (IHC) staining was performed on nine CAML samples for embryonic stem cell (ESC) markers OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, c-Myc, and KLF4. Immunofluorescence (IF) IHC staining was performed to investigate coexpression of two markers. NanoString mRNA expression analysis and colorimetric in situ hybridization (CISH) were performed on four snap-frozen CAML tissue samples for transcript expression of these ESC markers. Cells stained positively and negatively for each marker by IHC and CISH staining were counted and analyzed. Results:3,3-Diaminobenzidine IHC staining, and NanoString and CISH mRNA analyses demonstrated the expression of OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, c-Myc, and KLF4 within in all nine CAML samples, except for SOX2 which was below detectable levels on NanoString mRNA analysis. IF IHC staining showed the presence of a SOX2+/NANOG+/KLF4+/c-Myc+/OCT- CSC subpopulation within the tumor nests, and a SOX2+/NANOG+/KLF4+/c-Myc+/OCT4- CSC subpopulation and a SOX2+/NANOG+/KLF4+/c-Myc+/OCT4+ CSC subpopulation within the peritumoral stroma. Conclusion:The novel finding of three CSC subpopulations within CAML provides insights into the biology of CRC.
Project description:The cell fate determination factor Dachshund was cloned as a dominant inhibitor of the hyperactive epidermal growth factor receptor ellipse. The expression of Dachshund is lost in human breast cancer associated with poor prognosis. Breast tumor-initiating cells (TIC) may contribute to tumor progression and therapy resistance. Here, endogenous DACH1 was reduced in breast cancer cell lines with high expression of TIC markers and in patient samples of the basal breast cancer phenotype. Re-expression of DACH1 reduced new tumor formation in serial transplantations in vivo, reduced mammosphere formation, and reduced the proportion of CD44(high)/CD24(low) breast tumor cells. Conversely, lentiviral shRNA to DACH1 increased the breast (B)TIC population. Genome-wide expression studies of mammary tumors demonstrated DACH1 repressed a molecular signature associated with stem cells (SOX2, Nanog, and KLF4) and genome-wide ChIP-seq analysis identified DACH1 binding to the promoter of the Nanog, KLF4, and Lin28 genes. KLF4/c-Myc and Oct4/Sox2 antagonized DACH1 repression of BTIC. Mechanistic studies demonstrated DACH1 directly repressed the Nanog and Sox2 promoters via a conserved domain. Endogenous DACH1 regulates BTIC in vitro and in vivo.
Project description:Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been identified in many cancer types. This study identified and characterized CSCs in head and neck metastatic malignant melanoma (HNmMM) to regional lymph nodes using induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) markers. Immunohistochemical (IHC) staining performed on 20 HNmMM tissue samples demonstrated expression of iPSC markers OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, and c-MYC in all samples, while NANOG was expressed at low levels in two samples. Immunofluorescence (IF) staining demonstrated an OCT4+/SOX2+/KLF4+/c-MYC+ CSC subpopulation within the tumor nests (TNs) and another within the peritumoral stroma (PTS) of HNmMM tissues. IF also showed expression of NANOG by some OCT4+/SOX2+/KLF4+/c-MYC+ cells within the TNs in an HNmMM tissue sample that expressed NANOG on IHC staining. In situ hybridization (n = 6) and reverse-transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (n = 5) on the HNmMM samples confirmed expression of all five iPSC markers. Western blotting of primary cell lines derived from four of the 20 HNmMM tissue samples showed expression of SOX2, KLF4, and c-MYC but not OCT4 and NANOG, and three of these cell lines formed tumorspheres in vitro. We demonstrate the presence of two putative CSC subpopulations within HNmMM, which may be a novel therapeutic target in the treatment of this aggressive cancer.
Project description:OBJECTIVE: Every cell type is characterized by a specific transcriptional profile together with a unique epigenetic landscape. Reprogramming factors such as Oct4, Klf4, Sox2 and c-Myc enable somatic cells to change their transcriptional profile and convert them to pluripotent cells. Small molecules such as BIX-01294, Bay K8644, RG-108 and valproic acid (VPA) are reported as effective molecules for enhancing induction of pluripotency in vitro, however, their effects during in vivo reprogramming are addressed in this experimental study. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this experimental study, Oct4 expressing lentiviral particles and small molecules BIX-01294, Bay K8644 and RG-108 were injected into the right ventricle of mice brain and VPA was systematically administered as oral gavages. Animals treated with different combinations of small molecules for 7 or 14 days in concomitant with Oct4 exogenous expression were compared for expression of pluripotency markers. Total RNA was isolated from the rims of the injected ventricle and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed to evaluate the expression of endogenous Oct4, Nanog, c-Myc, klf4 and Sox2 as pluripotency markers, and Pax6 and Sox1 as neural stem cell (NSC) markers. RESULTS: Results showed that Oct4 exogenous expression for 7 days induced pluripoten- cy slightly as it was detected by significant enhancement in expression of Nanog (p<0.05). Combinatorial administration of Oct4 expressing vector and BIX-01294, Bay K8644 and RG-108 did not affect the expression of pluripotency and NSC markers, but VPA treatment along with Oct4 exogenous expression induced Nanog, Klf4 and c-Myc (p<0.001). VPA treatment before the induction of exogenous Oct4 was more effective and significantly increased the expression of endogenous Oct4, Nanog, Klf4, c-Myc (p<0.01), Pax6 and Sox1 (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: These results suggest VPA as the best enhancer of pluripotency among the chemicals tested, especially when applied prior to pluripotency induction by Oct4.
Project description:PURPOSE: The levels and timing of expression of genes like BCLXL, HDAC1 and pluripotency marker genes namely, OCT4, SOX2, NANOG and KLF4 are known to influence preimplantation embryo development. Despite this information, precise understanding of their influence during preimplantation embryo development is lacking. The present study attempts to compare the expression of these genes in the in vivo and in vitro developed preimplantation embryos. METHODS: The in vivo and in vitro developed rabbit embryos collected at distinct developmental stages namely, pronuclear, 2 cell, 4 cell, 8 cell, 16 cell, Morula and blastocyst were compared at the transcriptional and translational levels using Real Time PCR and immunocytochemical studies respectively. RESULTS: The study establishes the altered levels of candidate genes at the transcriptional level and translational level with reference to the zygotic genome activation (ZGA) phase of embryo development in the in vivo and in vitro developed embryos. The expression of OCT4, KLF4, NANOG and SOX2 genes were higher in the in vitro developed embryos whereas and HDAC1 was lower. BCLXL expression had its peak at ZGA in in vivo developed embryos. Protein expression of all the candidate genes was observed in the embryos. BCLXL, KLF4 and NANOG exhibited diffused localisation whereas HDAC1, OCT4, and SOX2 exhibited nuclear localisation. CONCLUSIONS: This study leads to conclude that BCLXL peak expression at the ZGA phase may be a requirement for embryo development. Further expression of all the candidate genes was influenced by ZGA phase of development at the transcript level, but not at the protein level.
Project description:AIM:To identify and characterize cancer stem cells (CSC) in moderately differentiated buccal mucosa squamous cell carcinoma (MDBMSCC). METHODS:Four micrometer-thick, formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded MDBMSCC samples from six patients underwent 3,3-diaminobenzidine (DAB) immunohistochemical (IHC) staining for the embryonic stem cell (ESC) markers, NANOG, OCT4, SALL4, SOX2, and pSTAT3; cancer stem cell marker, CD44; squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) marker, EMA; and endothelial marker, CD34. The transcriptional activities of the genes encoding NANOG, OCT4, SOX2, SALL4, STAT3, and CD44 were studied using NanoString gene expression analysis and colorimetric in situ hybridization (CISH) for NANOG, OCT4, SOX2, SALL4, and STAT3. RESULTS:Diaminobenzidine and immunofluorescent (IF) IHC staining demonstrated the presence of (1) an EMA(+)/CD44(+)/SOX2(+)/SALL4(+)/OCT4(+)/pSTAT3(+)/NANOG(+) CSC subpopulation within the tumor nests; (2) an EMA(-)/CD44(-)/CD34(-)/SOX2(+)/OCT4(+)/pSTAT3(+)/NANOG(+) subpopulation within the stroma between the tumor nests; and (3) an EMA(-)/CD44(-)/CD34(+)/SOX2(+)/SALL4(+)/OCT4(+)/pSTAT3(+)/NANOG(+) subpopulation on the endothelium of the microvessels within the stroma. The expression of CD44, SOX2, SALL4, OCT4, pSTAT3, and NANOG was confirmed by the presence of mRNA transcripts, using NanoString analysis and NANOG, OCT4, SOX2, SALL4, and STAT3 by CISH staining. CONCLUSION:This study demonstrated a novel finding of three separate CSC subpopulations within MDBMSCC: (1) within the tumor nests expressing EMA, CD44, SOX2, SALL4, OCT4, pSTAT3, and NANOG; (2) within the stroma expressing SOX2, SALL4, OCT4, pSTAT3, and NANOG; and (3) on the endothelium of the microvessels within the stroma expressing CD34, SOX2, SALL4, OCT4, pSTAT3, and NANOG.
Project description:Low oxygen levels have been shown to promote self-renewal in many stem cells. In tumors, hypoxia is associated with aggressive disease course and poor clinical outcomes. Furthermore, many aggressive tumors have been shown to display gene expression signatures characteristic of human embryonic stem cells (hESC). We now tested whether hypoxia might be responsible for the hESC signature observed in aggressive tumors. We show that hypoxia, through hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF), can induce an hESC-like transcriptional program, including the induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) inducers, OCT4, NANOG, SOX2, KLF4, cMYC, and microRNA-302 in 11 cancer cell lines (from prostate, brain, kidney, cervix, lung, colon, liver, and breast tumors). Furthermore, nondegradable forms of HIF?, combined with the traditional iPSC inducers, are highly efficient in generating A549 iPSC-like colonies that have high tumorigenic capacity. To test potential correlation between iPSC inducers and HIF expression in primary tumors, we analyzed primary prostate tumors and found a significant correlation between NANOG-, OCT4-, and HIF1?-positive regions. Furthermore, NANOG and OCT4 expressions positively correlated with increased prostate tumor Gleason score. In primary glioma-derived CD133 negative cells, hypoxia was able to induce neurospheres and hESC markers. Together, these findings suggest that HIF targets may act as key inducers of a dynamic state of stemness in pathologic conditions.
Project description:AIMS:The cancer stem cell concept proposes that tumor growth and recurrence is driven by a small population of cancer stem cells (CSCs). In this study we investigated the expression of induced-pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) markers and their localization in primary low-grade adenocarcinoma (LGCA) and high-grade adenocarcinoma (HGCA) and their patient-matched normal colon samples. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Transcription and translation of iPSC markers OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, KLF4 and c-MYC were investigated using immunohistochemical (IHC) staining, RT-qPCR and in-situ hybridization (ISH). RESULTS:All five iPSC markers were detected at the transcriptional and translational levels. Protein abundance was found to be correlated with tumor grade. Based on their protein expression within the tumors, two sub-populations of cells were identified: a NANOG+/OCT4- epithelial subpopulation and an OCT4+/NANOG- stromal subpopulation. All cases were accurately graded based on four pieces of iPSC marker-related data. CONCLUSIONS:This study suggests the presence of two putative sub-populations of CSCs: a NANOG+/OCT4- epithelial subpopulation and an OCT4+/NANOG- stromal subpopulation. Normal colon, LGCA and HGCA could be accurately distinguished from one another using iPSC marker expression. Once validated, novel combinations of iPSC markers may provide diagnostic and prognostic value to help guide patient management.