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Semin Cancer Biol. 2015 Jun;32:32-9. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2014.03.006. Epub 2014 Apr 8.

Cellular reprogramming in skin cancer.

Author information

1
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA.
2
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA. Electronic address: abalmain@cc.ucsf.edu.

Abstract

Early primitive stem cells have long been viewed as the cancer cells of origin (tumor initiating target cells) due to their intrinsic features of self-renewal and longevity. However, emerging evidence suggests a surprising capacity for normal committed cells to function as reserve stem cells upon reprogramming as a consequence of tissue damage resulting in inflammation and wound healing. This results in an alternative concept positing that tumors may originate from differentiated cells that can re-acquire stem cell properties due to genetic or epigenetic reprogramming. It is likely that both models are correct, and that a continuum of potential cells of origin exists, ranging from early primitive stem cells to committed progenitor or even terminally differentiated cells. A combination of the nature of the target cell and the specific types of gene mutations introduced determine tumor cell lineage, as well as potential for malignant conversion. Evidence from mouse skin models of carcinogenesis suggests that initiated cells at different stages within a stem cell hierarchy have varying degrees of requirement for reprogramming (e.g. inflammation stimuli), depending on their degree of differentiation. This article will present evidence in favor of these concepts that has been developed from studies of several mouse models of skin carcinogenesis.

KEYWORDS:

Cell of origin; Inflammation; Malignant potential; Reprogramming; Skin cancer; Stem cell hierarchy; p53

PMID:
24721247
PMCID:
PMC4467683
DOI:
10.1016/j.semcancer.2014.03.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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