Σάββατο, 17 Ιουνίου 2017

Do Cancer Cell Lines Have Fixed or Fluctuating Stem Cell Phenotypes? – Studies with the NTera2 Cell Line

Abstract

One of the important questions when studying established cancer cell lines is whether such cells contain a subpopulation of primitive cancer stem cells that maintains the expansion of the cell line. To address this issue, we performed studies on the established human embryonal carcinoma cell line NTera2 by evaluating the potential stemness of cells sorted according to their expression of the cell surface stem cell markers CD133 and SSEA4. By performing in vitro and in vivo assays, we observed different properties of cells expressing both, one, or neither of these antigens. While sorted SSEA4+ subpopulations exhibited the greatest propensity for migration toward normal serum and the highest seeding efficiency in the lungs of immunodeficient mice, CD133SSEA4 cells displayed high seeding efficiency to the bone marrow after injection in vivo. It is worth noting that these properties did not depend on the size of the evaluated cells. To address the question of whether cancer stem cell phenotypes in cell lines are fixed or fluctuating, we sorted single cells according to their expression of CD133 and SSEA4 antigens and observed that cells which did not express these cancer stem cell markers gave rise to cells that express these markers after expansion in vitro. Therefore, our results support the idea that within established cancer cell lines, the phenotype of the cell subpopulation expressing cancer stem cell markers is not fixed but fluctuates during cell line expansion, and cells negative for these markers may acquire their expression.



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