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J Chin Med Assoc. 2019 Mar;82(3):196-201. doi: 10.1097/JCMA.0000000000000056.

The subpopulation of CD44-positive cells promoted tumorigenicity and metastatic ability in lung adenocarcinoma.

Wang CY1,2,3, Huang CS1,4, Yang YP5,6, Liu CY1,7, Liu YY1,8, Wu WW1,9, Lu KH1,10, Chen KH1,11, Chang YL1,11, Lee SD1,9,10, Lin HC1,9,10.

Author information

1
School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.
2
Division of Trauma, Emergency Department Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.
3
Department of Critical Care Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.
4
Division of Colorectal Surgery, Department of Surgery, Cheng-Hsin General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.
5
Department of Medical Research, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.
6
Department of Neurological Surgery, Tri-Service General Hospital and National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan.
7
Division of Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Far-Eastern Memorial Hospital, New Taipei City, Taiwan, ROC.
8
Department of Chest, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.
9
Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Cheng-Hsin General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.
10
Department of Medical Research and Education, Cheng-Hsin General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.
11
Department of Pharmacy, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Lung cancer is one of the major causes of carcinoma-related deaths in the world. Importantly, lung adenocarcinoma (LAC) is the most common type with poor outcome. However, the progressive clinical phenotype and biomolecular signature of lung cancer presenting the cancer stem-like and metastatic characteristics are still unclear.

METHODS:

In this study, we identified CD44 marker in lung cancers. The capabilities, including tumorigenic and migration assays, were analyzed in CD44 expression and CD44 expression subgroups. Meanwhile, the potential bio-signature and properties of lung tumor stem-like cells were further studied.

RESULTS:

The high expression of CD44 subpopulation (CD44-positive) in isolated lung cancer cells showed significantly higher abilities of tumorigenic colonies, tumor-sphere formation, and migratory properties when compared with the CD44 expression group. These subgroups of CD44-positive lung cancer cells further demonstrated the metastatic potential with epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), as well as the high expression of Twist and Snail gene profile. Importantly, the overexpression of Snail with gene vector in CD44 expression cells further significantly promoted the properties of lung tumor stem-like cells.

CONCLUSION:

The results of this study highlighted the role of CD44-posivite subpopulation in modulating tumor initiation and EMT-based metastatic ability of lung malignancy.

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