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      Cancer stem cell surface markers on normal stem cells

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          The cancer stem cell (CSC) hypothesis has captured the attention of many scientists. It is believed that elimination of CSCs could possibly eradicate the whole cancer. CSC surface markers provide molecular targeted therapies for various cancers, using therapeutic antibodies specific for the CSC surface markers. Various CSC surface markers have been identified and published. Interestingly, most of the markers used to identify CSCs are derived from surface markers present on human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) or adult stem cells. In this review, we classify the currently known 40 CSC surface markers into 3 different categories, in terms of their expression in hESCs, adult stem cells, and normal tissue cells. Approximately 73% of current CSC surface markers appear to be present on embryonic or adult stem cells, and they are rarely expressed on normal tissue cells. The remaining CSC surface markers are considerably expressed even in normal tissue cells, and some of them have been extensively validated as CSC surface markers by various research groups. We discuss the significance of the categorized CSC surface markers, and provide insight into why surface markers on hESCs are an attractive source to find novel surface markers on CSCs.

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          Most cited references 166

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          Multilineage potential of adult human mesenchymal stem cells.

          Human mesenchymal stem cells are thought to be multipotent cells, which are present in adult marrow, that can replicate as undifferentiated cells and that have the potential to differentiate to lineages of mesenchymal tissues, including bone, cartilage, fat, tendon, muscle, and marrow stroma. Cells that have the characteristics of human mesenchymal stem cells were isolated from marrow aspirates of volunteer donors. These cells displayed a stable phenotype and remained as a monolayer in vitro. These adult stem cells could be induced to differentiate exclusively into the adipocytic, chondrocytic, or osteocytic lineages. Individual stem cells were identified that, when expanded to colonies, retained their multilineage potential.
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            Prospective identification of tumorigenic breast cancer cells.

            Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in United States women, accounting for >40,000 deaths each year. These breast tumors are comprised of phenotypically diverse populations of breast cancer cells. Using a model in which human breast cancer cells were grown in immunocompromised mice, we found that only a minority of breast cancer cells had the ability to form new tumors. We were able to distinguish the tumorigenic (tumor initiating) from the nontumorigenic cancer cells based on cell surface marker expression. We prospectively identified and isolated the tumorigenic cells as CD44(+)CD24(-/low)Lineage(-) in eight of nine patients. As few as 100 cells with this phenotype were able to form tumors in mice, whereas tens of thousands of cells with alternate phenotypes failed to form tumors. The tumorigenic subpopulation could be serially passaged: each time cells within this population generated new tumors containing additional CD44(+)CD24(-/low)Lineage(-) tumorigenic cells as well as the phenotypically diverse mixed populations of nontumorigenic cells present in the initial tumor. The ability to prospectively identify tumorigenic cancer cells will facilitate the elucidation of pathways that regulate their growth and survival. Furthermore, because these cells drive tumor development, strategies designed to target this population may lead to more effective therapies.
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              Embryonic stem cell lines derived from human blastocysts.

              Human blastocyst-derived, pluripotent cell lines are described that have normal karyotypes, express high levels of telomerase activity, and express cell surface markers that characterize primate embryonic stem cells but do not characterize other early lineages. After undifferentiated proliferation in vitro for 4 to 5 months, these cells still maintained the developmental potential to form trophoblast and derivatives of all three embryonic germ layers, including gut epithelium (endoderm); cartilage, bone, smooth muscle, and striated muscle (mesoderm); and neural epithelium, embryonic ganglia, and stratified squamous epithelium (ectoderm). These cell lines should be useful in human developmental biology, drug discovery, and transplantation medicine.

                Author and article information

                BMB Rep
                BMB Rep
                BMB Reports
                Korean Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
                June 2017
                30 June 2017
                : 50
                : 6
                : 285-298
                Institute of Anticancer Medicine Development, Department of Integrative Bioscience and Biotechnology, Sejong University, Seoul 05006, Korea
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author. Tel: +82-2-3408-3718; Fax: +82-2-3408- 4334; E-mail: cjryu@
                Copyright © 2017 by the The Korean Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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