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Anticancer Res. 2012 Apr;32(4):1163-6.

Stem cell markers as predictors of oral cancer invasion.

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Department of Orofacial Sciences, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0422, USA.


We previously showed that within primary tumors there exist subpopulations of cells expressing stem cell markers. Using immunofluorescence and western blotting, we examined the expression of stem cell markers tumor-rejection antigen 1-60 (TRA1-60) and octamer-binding transcription factor 3/ 4 (OCT3/4) to determine their relationship with cell invasiveness. Six human oral cancer cell lines were examined and a direct correlation was found between expression of these stem cell markers and invasion. Poor expression of E-cadherin and increased expression of N-cadherin was also found in TRA1-60- and OCT3/4- expressing cells. Phosphorylation of the major signaling molecule mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) was greatest in the TRA1-60- and OCT3/4- expressing cells. These results suggest that expression of specific stem cell markers in tumors may help guide a clinician's choice of treatment.

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