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Cancer Lett. 2009 May 18;277(2):227-34. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2008.12.015. Epub 2009 Jan 30.

Side population in oral squamous cell carcinoma possesses tumor stem cell phenotypes.

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  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Ninth People's Hospital, School of Stomatology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, 639 Zhizaoju Road, Shanghai, China.


To characterize the biological features of side population (SP) in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OCC), SP and non-SP were sorted and compared. The SP cells were more clonogenic and in nude mice, only 10,000 SP cells were needed for tumor development compared to 1,000,000 non-SP cells. The SP cells expressed higher levels of ABCG2, ABCB1, CD44, Oct-4, Bmi-1, NSPc1 and CK19. The SP cells generated SP and non-SP populations, whereas the non-SP cells generated only non-SP. These findings provide the first evidence that SP in OCC possesses tumor stem cell phenotypes and may play an important role in OCC tumorigenesis.

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