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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2013;777:185-96. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4614-5894-4_12.

Prominin-1 (CD133) Reveals New Faces of Pancreatic Progenitor Cells and Cancer Stem Cells: Current Knowledge and Therapeutic Perspectives.

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Division of Medical Chemistry, Department of Biophysics, Kobe University Graduate School of Health Science, 7-10-2 Tomogaoka, Suma-ku, Kobe, 654-0142, Japan,


Islet transplantation-based therapies were proven successful for type 1 diabetes mellitus, but an extreme shortage of pancreatic islets has motivated recent efforts to develop renewable sources of islet-replacement tissue. Pancreatic progenitor cells hold a promising potential, yet attempts at their prospective isolation are scarce due to the lack of specific marker. We found that prominin-1 (often referred to as CD133 in humans) is expressed by the undifferentiated epithelial cells in the mouse embryonic pancreas. Putative pancreatic epithelial stem and progenitor cells were prospectively enriched in prominin-1(+) cell population by cell sorting and characterized. CD133 is also a cell surface marker of human pancreatic cancer stem cells (CSC), which are resistant to conventional treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Therefore, a considerable interest in the specific targeting and eradication of CSC is emerging for the cancer therapy, and CD133 may represent a good molecular target. In this chapter, I will summarize our current knowledge about prominin-1/CD133 in mouse and human pancreas.

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