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      Analysis of gene expression and chemoresistance of CD133+ cancer stem cells in glioblastoma

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          Abstract

          Background

          Recently, a small population of cancer stem cells in adult and pediatric brain tumors has been identified. Some evidence has suggested that CD133 is a marker for a subset of leukemia and glioblastoma cancer stem cells. Especially, CD133 positive cells isolated from human glioblastoma may initiate tumors and represent novel targets for therapeutics. The gene expression and the drug resistance property of CD133 positive cancer stem cells, however, are still unknown.

          Results

          In this study, by FACS analysis we determined the percentage of CD133 positive cells in three primary cultured cell lines established from glioblastoma patients 10.2%, 69.7% and 27.5%, respectively. We also determined the average mRNA levels of markers associated with neural precursors. For example, CD90, CD44, CXCR4, Nestin, Msi1 and MELK mRNA on CD133 positive cells increased to 15.6, 5.7, 337.8, 21.4, 84 and 1351 times, respectively, compared to autologous CD133 negative cells derived from cell line No. 66. Additionally, CD133 positive cells express higher levels of BCRP1 and MGMT mRNA, as well as higher mRNA levels of genes that inhibit apoptosis. Furthermore, CD133 positive cells were significantly resistant to chemotherapeutic agents including temozolomide, carboplatin, paclitaxel (Taxol) and etoposide (VP16) compared to autologous CD133 negative cells. Finally, CD133 expression was significantly higher in recurrent GBM tissue obtained from five patients as compared to their respective newly diagnosed tumors.

          Conclusion

          Our study for the first time provided evidence that CD133 positive cancer stem cells display strong capability on tumor's resistance to chemotherapy. This resistance is probably contributed by the CD133 positive cell with higher expression of on BCRP1 and MGMT, as well as the anti-apoptosis protein and inhibitors of apoptosis protein families. Future treatment should target this small population of CD133 positive cancer stem cells in tumors to improve the survival of brain tumor patients.

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          Most cited references 38

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          Stem cells, cancer, and cancer stem cells.

          Stem cell biology has come of age. Unequivocal proof that stem cells exist in the haematopoietic system has given way to the prospective isolation of several tissue-specific stem and progenitor cells, the initial delineation of their properties and expressed genetic programmes, and the beginnings of their utility in regenerative medicine. Perhaps the most important and useful property of stem cells is that of self-renewal. Through this property, striking parallels can be found between stem cells and cancer cells: tumours may often originate from the transformation of normal stem cells, similar signalling pathways may regulate self-renewal in stem cells and cancer cells, and cancer cells may include 'cancer stem cells' - rare cells with indefinite potential for self-renewal that drive tumorigenesis.
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            Identification of human brain tumour initiating cells.

            The cancer stem cell (CSC) hypothesis suggests that neoplastic clones are maintained exclusively by a rare fraction of cells with stem cell properties. Although the existence of CSCs in human leukaemia is established, little evidence exists for CSCs in solid tumours, except for breast cancer. Recently, we prospectively isolated a CD133+ cell subpopulation from human brain tumours that exhibited stem cell properties in vitro. However, the true measures of CSCs are their capacity for self renewal and exact recapitulation of the original tumour. Here we report the development of a xenograft assay that identified human brain tumour initiating cells that initiate tumours in vivo. Only the CD133+ brain tumour fraction contains cells that are capable of tumour initiation in NOD-SCID (non-obese diabetic, severe combined immunodeficient) mouse brains. Injection of as few as 100 CD133+ cells produced a tumour that could be serially transplanted and was a phenocopy of the patient's original tumour, whereas injection of 10(5) CD133- cells engrafted but did not cause a tumour. Thus, the identification of brain tumour initiating cells provides insights into human brain tumour pathogenesis, giving strong support for the CSC hypothesis as the basis for many solid tumours, and establishes a previously unidentified cellular target for more effective cancer therapies.
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              Identification of a cancer stem cell in human brain tumors.

              Most current research on human brain tumors is focused on the molecular and cellular analysis of the bulk tumor mass. However, there is overwhelming evidence in some malignancies that the tumor clone is heterogeneous with respect to proliferation and differentiation. In human leukemia, the tumor clone is organized as a hierarchy that originates from rare leukemic stem cells that possess extensive proliferative and self-renewal potential, and are responsible for maintaining the tumor clone. We report here the identification and purification of a cancer stem cell from human brain tumors of different phenotypes that possesses a marked capacity for proliferation, self-renewal, and differentiation. The increased self-renewal capacity of the brain tumor stem cell (BTSC) was highest from the most aggressive clinical samples of medulloblastoma compared with low-grade gliomas. The BTSC was exclusively isolated with the cell fraction expressing the neural stem cell surface marker CD133. These CD133+ cells could differentiate in culture into tumor cells that phenotypically resembled the tumor from the patient. The identification of a BTSC provides a powerful tool to investigate the tumorigenic process in the central nervous system and to develop therapies targeted to the BTSC.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Mol Cancer
                Molecular Cancer
                BioMed Central (London )
                1476-4598
                2006
                2 December 2006
                : 5
                : 67
                1476-4598-5-67
                10.1186/1476-4598-5-67
                1697823
                17140455
                Copyright © 2006 Liu et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Research

                Oncology & Radiotherapy

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