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Mol Cancer Ther. 2018 Sep;17(9):2034-2048. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-17-0421. Epub 2018 Jun 29.

Targeting Notch1 and IKKα Enhanced NF-κB Activation in CD133+ Skin Cancer Stem Cells.

Author information

1
Tumor Biology Section, Head and Neck Surgery Branch, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland.
2
Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch, NCI, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland.
3
Microarray Core Facility, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland.
4
Cancer Genetics Branch, NCI, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland.
5
Skin Cancer Surgery Center, Bethesda, Maryland.
6
Braun Dermatology Associates, Washington, District of Columbia.
7
Tumor Biology Section, Head and Neck Surgery Branch, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland. chenz@nidcd.nih.gov vanwaesc@nidcd.nih.gov.
#
Contributed equally

Abstract

Cancer stem-like cells are hypothesized to be the major tumor-initiating cell population of human cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC), but the landscape of molecular alterations underpinning their signaling and cellular phenotypes as drug targets remains undefined. In this study, we developed an experimental pipeline to isolate a highly enriched CD133+CD31-CD45-CD61-CD24- (CD133+) cell population from primary cSCC specimens by flow cytometry. The CD133+ cells show enhanced stem-like phenotypes, which were verified by spheroid and colony formation in vitro and tumor generation in vivo Gene expression profiling of CD133+/- cells was compared and validated, and differentially expressed gene signatures and top pathways were identified. CD133+ cells expressed a repertoire of stemness and cancer-related genes, including NOTCH and NOTCH1-mediated NF-κB pathway signaling. Other cancer-related genes from WNT, growth factor receptors, PI3K/mTOR, STAT pathways, and chromatin modifiers were also identified. Pharmacologic and genetic targeting of NOTCH1, IKKα, RELA, and RELB modulated NF-κB transactivation, the CD133+ population, and cellular and stemness phenotypes. Immunofluorescent staining confirmed colocalization of CD133+ and IKKα expression in SCC tumor specimens. Our functional, genetic, and pharmacologic studies uncovered a novel linkage between NOTCH1, IKKα, and NF-κB pathway activation in maintaining the CD133+ stem SCC phenotypes. Studies investigating markers of activation and modulators of NOTCH, IKK/NF-κB, and other pathways regulating these cancer stem gene signatures could further accelerate the development of effective therapeutic strategies to treat cSCC recurrence and metastasis. Mol Cancer Ther; 17(9); 2034-48. ©2018 AACR.

PMID:
29959199
PMCID:
PMC6461743
DOI:
10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-17-0421
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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