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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2013 Feb 1;266(3):459-69. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2012.11.023. Epub 2012 Dec 3.

Enhancement of cancer stem-like and epithelial-mesenchymal transdifferentiation property in oral epithelial cells with long-term nicotine exposure: reversal by targeting SNAIL.

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1
Institute of Oral Science, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.

Abstract

Cigarette smoking is one of the major risk factors in the development and further progression of tumorigenesis, including oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Recent studies suggest that interplay cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) and epithelial-mesenchymal transdifferentiation (EMT) properties are responsible for the tumor maintenance and metastasis in OSCC. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of long-term exposure with nicotine, a major component in cigarette, on CSCs and EMT characteristics. The possible reversal regulators were further explored in nicotine-induced CSCs and EMT properties in human oral epithelial (OE) cells. Long-term exposure with nicotine was demonstrated to up-regulate ALDH1 population in normal gingival and primary OSCC OE cells dose-dependently. Moreover, long-term nicotine treatment was found to enhance the self-renewal sphere-forming ability and stemness gene signatures expression and EMT regulators in OE cells. The migration/cell invasiveness/anchorage independent growth and in vivo tumor growth by nude mice xenotransplantation assay was enhanced in long-term nicotine-stimulated OE cells. Knockdown of Snail in long-term nicotine-treated OE cells was found to reduce their CSCs properties. Therapeutic delivery of Si-Snail significantly blocked the xenograft tumorigenesis of long-term nicotine-treated OSCC cells and largely significantly improved the recipient survival. The present study demonstrated that the enrichment of CSCs coupled EMT property in oral epithelial cells induced by nicotine is critical for the development of OSCC tumorigenesis. Targeting Snail might offer a new strategy for the treatment of OSCC patients with smoking habit.

PMID:
23219715
DOI:
10.1016/j.taap.2012.11.023
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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