Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Jan 25;108(4):1591-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1018696108. Epub 2011 Jan 10.

A CD133-related gene expression signature identifies an aggressive glioblastoma subtype with excessive mutations.

Author information

  • 1Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle, WA 98103, USA.


Cancer cells are heterogeneous and, it has been proposed, fall into at least two classes: the tumor-initiating cancer stem cells (CSC) and the more differentiated tumor cells. The transmembrane protein CD133 has been widely used to isolate putative CSC populations in several cancer types, but its validity as a CSC marker and hence its clinical ramifications remain controversial. Here, we conducted transcriptomic profiling of sorted CD133(+) and CD133(-) cells from human glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and, by subtractive analysis, established a CD133 gene expression signature composed of 214 differentially expressed genes. Extensive computational comparisons with a compendium of published gene expression profiles reveal that the CD133 gene signature transcriptionally resembles human ES cells and in vitro cultured GBM stem cells, and this signature successfully distinguishes GBM from lower-grade gliomas. More importantly, the CD133 gene signature identifies an aggressive subtype of GBM seen in younger patients with shorter survival who bear excessive genomic mutations as surveyed through the Cancer Genome Atlas Network GBM mutation spectrum. Furthermore, the CD133 gene signature distinguishes higher-grade breast and bladder cancers from their lower-grade counterparts. Our systematic analysis provides molecular and genetic support for the stem cell-like nature of CD133(+) cells and an objective means for evaluating cancer aggressiveness.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center