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Identification of cancer stem cells in vincristine preconditioned SGC7901 gastric cancer cell line.

Journal of cellular biochemistry (2011-09-14)
Zengfu Xue, Hui Yan, Juntang Li, Shuli Liang, Xiqiang Cai, Xiong Chen, Qiong Wu, Liucun Gao, Kaichun Wu, Yongzhan Nie, Daiming Fan

Cancer stem cells (CSCs), or tumor initiating cells, are a subpopulation of cancer cells with self-renewal and differentiation properties. However, there has been no direct observation of the properties of gastric CSCs in vitro. Here we describe a vincristine (VCR)-preconditioning approach to obtain cancer stem-like cells (CSLCs) from the gastric cancer cell line SGC7901. The CSLCs displayed mesenchymal characteristics, including the up-regulated mesenchymal markers Snail, Twist, and vimentin, and the down-regulated epithelial marker E-cadherin. Using a Matrigel-based differentiation assay, CSLCs formed 2D tube-like and 3D complex lumen-like structures, which resembled differentiated gastric crypts. The characteristic of cellular differentiation was also found by transmission electron microscopy and up-regulation of gastrointestinal genes CDX2 and SOX2. We further showed that CSLCs could self-renew through significant asymmetric division compared with parent cells by tracing PKH-26, BrdU, and EDU label-retaining cells. In addition, these CSLCs also increased expression of CD44, CD90, and CXCR4 at the mRNA level, which was identified as novel targets. Furthermore, drug sensitivity assays and xenograft experiments demonstrated that the cells developed multi-drug resistance (MDR) and significant tumorigenicity in vivo. In summary, gastric CSCs were identified from VCR-preconditioned SGC7901 cell line, characterized by high tumorigenicity and the capacity for self-renewal and differentiation.

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Monoclonal Anti-Actin, α-Smooth Muscle, clone 1A4, ascites fluid