Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Cycle. 2008 Feb 1;7(3):309-13. Epub 2007 Nov 30.

IL-4-mediated drug resistance in colon cancer stem cells.

Author information

Department of Surgical and Oncological Sciences, Cellular and Molecular Pathophysiology Laboratory, Palermo, Italy.


Cancer stem cells are defined as cells able to both extensively self-renew and differentiate into progenitors. Cancer stem cells are thus likely to be responsible for maintaining or spreading a cancer, and may be the most relevant targets for cancer therapy. The CD133 glycoprotein was recently described as a reliable cancer stem-like cell marker in colon carcinoma. CD133+ cells are both necessary and sufficient to initiate tumour growth in animal models. The CD133+ cell population and spheroid cultures contain cells expressing the stem cell marker Musashi-1 which is involved in maintenance of stem cell fate in several tissues and importantly, this expression is maintained in stem-like cells derived from xenografted tumors. Here we discuss the potential use of the CD133 antigen in concert with Musashi-1 as markers to identify the colon cancer stem cell population. Since the upregulation of IL-4 cytokine was recently demonstrated to constitute an important mechanism that protects the tumorigenic CD133+ cells from apoptosis, the potential benefits of standard chemotherapeutic treatments in combination with IL-4 inhibitors in the context of human colon carcinoma, are also discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center