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PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e49605. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0049605. Epub 2012 Nov 20.

Survival of cancer stem cells under hypoxia and serum depletion via decrease in PP2A activity and activation of p38-MAPKAPK2-Hsp27.

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  • 1Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan.

Abstract

Hypoxia and serum depletion are common features of solid tumors that occur upon antiangiogenesis, irradiation and chemotherapy across a wide variety of malignancies. Here we show that tumor cells expressing CD133, a marker for colorectal cancer initiating or stem cells, are enriched and survive under hypoxia and serum depletion conditions, whereas CD133- cells undergo apoptosis. CD133+ tumor cells increase cancer stem cell and epithelial-mesenchymal transition properties. Moreover, via screening a panel of tyrosine and serine/threonine kinase pathways, we identified Hsp27 is constitutively activated in CD133+ cells rather than CD133- cell under hypoxia and serum depletion conditions. However, there was no difference in Hsp27 activation between CD133+ and CD133- cells under normal growth condition. Hsp27 activation, which was mediated by the p38MAPK-MAPKAPK2-Hsp27 pathway, is required for CD133+ cells to inhibit caspase 9 and 3 cleavage. In addition, inhibition of Hsp27 signaling sensitizes CD133+ cells to hypoxia and serum depletion -induced apoptosis. Moreover, the antiapoptotic pathway is also activated in spheroid culture-enriched CD133+ cancer stem cells from a variety of solid tumor cells including lung, brain and oral cancer, suggesting it is a common pathway activated in cancer stem cells from multiple tumor types. Thus, activation of PP2A or inactivation of the p38MAPK-MAPKAPK2-Hsp27 pathway may develop new strategies for cancer therapy by suppression of their TIC population.

PMID:
23185379
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3502468
Free PMC Article
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