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Clin Cancer Res. 2009 Jul 1;15(13):4299-311. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-08-1883. Epub 2009 Jun 9.

Cells with characteristics of cancer stem/progenitor cells express the CD133 antigen in human endometrial tumors.

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1
Department of Hematology and Department of Gynecology, Catholic University Medical School, USA. srutella@rm.unicatt.it

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Cancer stem cells represent an attractive therapeutic target for tumor eradication. The present study aimed to determine whether CD133 expression may identify cells with characteristics of cancer stem/progenitor cells in human endometrial tumors.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:

We analyzed 113 tumor samples for CD133/1 expression by flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, and semiquantitative reverse transcription-PCR. CD133(+) cells were isolated and used to assess phenotypic characteristics, self-renewal capacity, ability to maintain CD133 expression and form sphere-like structures in long-term cultures, sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents, gene expression profile, and ability to initiate tumors in NOD/SCID mice.

RESULTS:

Primary tumor samples exhibited a variable degree of immunoreactivity for CD133/1, ranging from 1.3% to 62.6%, but stained negatively for other endothelial and stem cell-associated markers. Isolated CD133(+) cells expanded up to 4.6-fold in serum-replenished cultures and coexpressed the GalNAcalpha1-O-Ser/Thr MUC-1 glycoform, a well-characterized tumor-associated antigen. Dissociated bulk tumors formed sphere-like structures; cells grown as tumor spheres maintained CD133 expression and could be propagated for up to 12 weeks. CD133(+) cells purified from endometrioid adenocarcinomas were resistant to cisplatin-induced and paclitaxel-induced cytotoxicity and expressed a peculiar gene signature consisting of high levels of matrix metalloproteases, interleukin-8, CD44, and CXCR4. When serially transplanted into NOD/SCID mice, CD133(+) cells were capable of initiating tumor formation and recapitulating the phenotype of the original tumor.

CONCLUSIONS:

CD133 is expressed by human endometrial cancers and might represent a valuable tool to identify cells with cancer stem cell characteristics.

PMID:
19509143
DOI:
10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-08-1883
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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