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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 Apr 18;368(4):930-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.02.022. Epub 2008 Feb 13.

MDR1 expression identifies human melanoma stem cells.

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1
Cancer Research Center, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer and Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University Tel Aviv, 52621, Israel.

Abstract

ABC transporters are often found to be inherently expressed in a wide variety of stem cells, where they provide improved protection from toxins. We found a subpopulation of human melanoma cells expressing multidrug-resistance gene product 1 (MDR1). This fraction co-expresses the ABC transporters, ABCB5 and ABCC2 in addition to the stem cell markers, nanog and human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT). The clonogenicity and self-renewal capacity of MDR1(+) melanoma cells were investigated in single cell settings using the limiting dilution assay. We found that the MDR1(+) cells, isolated by FACS sorting, demonstrated a higher self-renewal capacity than the MDR1(-) fraction, a key stem cell feature. Moreover, MDR1(+) cells had higher ability to form spheres in low attachment conditions, a hallmark of cancer. In conclusion, these novel findings imply that the MDR1(+) cells represent melanoma stem cells and thus should be considered as a unique cellular target for future anti-melanoma therapies.

PMID:
18279661
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.02.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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