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PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e43628. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043628. Epub 2012 Aug 21.

Ionizing radiation induces stemness in cancer cells.

Author information

1
Division of Gastroenterology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Erratum in

  • PLoS One. 2013;8(3). doi: 10.1371/annotation/15587a16-d9c2-446b-9601-924c2db5c5d9.

Abstract

The cancer stem cell (CSC) model posits the presence of a small number of CSCs in the heterogeneous cancer cell population that are ultimately responsible for tumor initiation, as well as cancer recurrence and metastasis. CSCs have been isolated from a variety of human cancers and are able to generate a hierarchical and heterogeneous cancer cell population. CSCs are also resistant to conventional chemo- and radio-therapies. Here we report that ionizing radiation can induce stem cell-like properties in heterogeneous cancer cells. Exposure of non-stem cancer cells to ionizing radiation enhanced spherogenesis, and this was accompanied by upregulation of the pluripotency genes Sox2 and Oct3/4. Knockdown of Sox2 or Oct3/4 inhibited radiation-induced spherogenesis and increased cellular sensitivity to radiation. These data demonstrate that ionizing radiation can activate stemness pathways in heterogeneous cancer cells, resulting in the enrichment of a CSC subpopulation with higher resistance to radiotherapy.

PMID:
22928007
PMCID:
PMC3424153
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0043628
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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