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      Identification of human brain tumour initiating cells

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          Abstract

          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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          Most cited references 17

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          CNS stem cells express a new class of intermediate filament protein.

          Multipotential CNS stem cells receive and implement instructions governing differentiation to diverse neuronal and glial fates. Exploration of the mechanisms generating the many cell types of the brain depends crucially on markers identifying the stem cell state. We describe a gene whose expression distinguishes the stem cells from the more differentiated cells in the neural tube. This gene was named nestin because it is specifically expressed in neuroepithelial stem cells. The predicted amino acid sequence of the nestin gene product shows that nestin defines a distinct sixth class of intermediate filament protein. These observations extend a model in which transitions in intermediate filament gene expression reflect major steps in the pathway of neural differentiation.
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            Applying the principles of stem-cell biology to cancer.

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              Persistence of a small subpopulation of cancer stem-like cells in the C6 glioma cell line.

               T. Kondo,  T Setoguchi,  T Taga (2004)
              Both stem cells and cancer cells are thought to be capable of unlimited proliferation. Paradoxically, however, some cancers seem to contain stem-like cells (cancer stem cells). To help resolve this paradox, we investigated whether established malignant cell lines, which have been maintained for years in culture, contain a subpopulation of stem cells. In this article, we show that many cancer cell lines contain a small side population (SP), which, in many normal tissues, is thought to contain the stem cells of the tissue. We demonstrate that in the absence of serum the combination of basic fibroblast growth factor and platelet-derived growth factor maintains SP cells in the C6 glioma cell line. Moreover, we show that C6 SP cells, but not non-SP cells, can generate both SP and non-SP cells in culture and are largely responsible for the in vivo malignancy of this cell line. Finally, we provide evidence that C6 SP cells can produce both neurons and glial cells in vitro and in vivo. We propose that many cancer cell lines contain a minor subpopulation of stem cells that is enriched in an SP, can be maintained indefinitely in culture, and is crucial for their malignancy.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature
                Nature
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                0028-0836
                1476-4687
                November 2004
                November 2004
                : 432
                : 7015
                : 396-401
                Article
                10.1038/nature03128
                15549107
                © 2004

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