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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Nov 13;389(2):274-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.08.130. Epub 2009 Aug 28.

Nectin-3 expression is elevated in limbal epithelial side population cells with strongly expressed stem cell markers.

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  • 1Institute of Advanced Biomedical Engineering and Science, Tokyo Women's Medical University, 8-1 Kawada-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8666, Japan.


Corneal epithelial stem cells (CESCs) are essential for maintaining the ocular surface. However, the lack of surface markers for CESCs remains a serious obstacle in the identification of CESCs. Previously, we showed that rabbit limbal epithelial side population (rLE-SP) cells exhibited stem cell phenotypes including increased expression of CD61, a marker for mouse hematopoietic stem cells. Here, we demonstrate that nectin-3, an immunoglobulin-like cell-cell adhesion molecule, is highly expressed in rLE-SP cells. Additionally, nectin-3(+) cells were significantly enriched among CD61(+)rLE-SP cells as compared to CD61(-)rLE-SP cells. In mouse bone marrow side population cells, a correlation between expression of nectin-3 and CD61 was also observed. These data strongly suggest that nectin-3 may contribute to the identification of CESCs.

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