Cell biological profiling of reprogrammed cancer stem cell-like colon cancer cells maintained in culture.


Department of Anatomy and Organ Technology, Shinshu University School of Medicine, 3-1-1 Asahi, Matsumoto, Nagano, 390-8621, Japan. [Email]


Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are specific targets for therapeutic applications, but the rarity of CSCs within tumors makes the isolation of CSCs difficult. To overcome these problems, we generated CSCs in vitro using established reprogramming techniques. We transduced four previously established reprogramming factors, Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, and L-myc, into the colon cancer cell lines LoVo and OUMS-23, and investigated the biological characteristics of these lines. Tra-1-60+ cells were obtained from reprogrammed induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-like colonies and showed CSC properties, including colony formation, maintenance of colonies by repeated passages, and feeder cell dependency, as well as increased expressions of CSC markers such as CD133 and ALDH1. The CSC-like cells showed increased chemoresistance to 5-fluorouracil and elevated tumorigenicity upon transplantation into kidneys of immune-deficient mice. These tumors shifted to a poorly differentiated stage with many atypical cells, cytoplasmic mucin, and focal papillary components, with demonstrated dedifferentiation. The principal component analysis from DNA microarrays showed that though both cell lines moved to iPS cells after reprogramming, they were not completely identical to iPS cells. Significantly elevated gene expression of Decorin and CD90 was observed in CSC-like cells. Together, these results show that reprogramming of cancer cells produced not pluripotent stem cells but CSC-like cells, and these findings will provide biological information about genuine CSCs and help establish new CSC-targeted therapies.


Cancer stem cells (CSCs),Colorectal cancer,Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells,Reprogramming,