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Arch Dermatol Res. 2011 Apr;303(3):181-9. doi: 10.1007/s00403-010-1100-1. Epub 2011 Jan 15.

Isolation and identification of a distinct side population cancer cells in the human epidermal squamous cancer cell line A431.

Author information

  • 1Department of Dermatology, Northwest Hospital, Xi'an Jiaotong University, China. gsm312@yahoo.com


Side population (SP) cells have been suggested to be multipotent cancer stem cells. To address whether SP cells exist in epidermal squamous cancer cell line A431, A431 cells dyed with Hoechst 33342 were sorted through flow cytometry. The SP cells were then analyzed by colony-forming and cell proliferation assay. Further, tumorigenicity and microarray analysis were used to compare biological difference between SP and non-SP (NSP) cells. Our results showed that SP cells existed in the A431 cell line, showing higher proliferating and colony-forming ability than NSP cells. Tumors generated from SP cells were larger than those from the NSP cells in NOD/SCID mice. The mRNA microarray profiling revealed that five cancer marker gene expressions were up-regulated and one tumor suppressor gene expression was down-regulated. These findings suggest that SP cells in A431 could contribute to self-renewal, neoplastic transformation, and cancer metastasis of human epidermal squamous cell carcinoma.

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