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  • The ALDH1⁺ subpopulation of the human NMFH-1 cell line exhibits cancer stem-like characteristics.

The ALDH1⁺ subpopulation of the human NMFH-1 cell line exhibits cancer stem-like characteristics.

Oncology reports (2015-03-12)
Dejian Li, Tao Zhang, Wenguang Gu, Peng Li, Xiangyang Cheng, Tiejun Tong, Wenbo Wang
ABSTRACT

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been reported in many tissues. However, CSCs have yet to be identified in a human malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) cell line. Elevated aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) has been proposed as a stem cell marker for isolating CSCs from cancer. The aim of the present study was to identify a population with elevated ALDH in the human NMFH-1 cell line. ALDH⁺ and ALDH- cell populations were isolated and compared for CSC characteristics. ALDH enzymatic activity was used as a marker to identify the cells in the NMFH-1 line. Self-renewal, differentiation capacity, and tumorigenicity of the NMFH-1 ALDH⁺ cell population were then examined using a spheroid formation assay and xenograft model in nude mice. Chemoresistance levels, ABCG2 drug transport gene expression, and stem cell-associated gene expression were compared in these NMFH-1 populations. The ALDH⁺ population was better able to form spheres in anchorage-independent serum-starved conditions. Furthermore, the mRNA expression of key stem cell-related genes was enhanced in these cells. Increased expression of the drug transporter gene, ABCG2, was detected. Compared with ALDH-, the ALDH⁺ subpopulation had higher levels of chemoresistance to doxorubicin (DXR) and cisplatin (CDDP). Additionally, the ALDH⁺ cells more efficiently formed tumors when implanted into BALB/c nude mice. ALDH1 may therefore be used as a marker for the isolation of cells that exhibit several characteristics of CSCs from the NMFH-1 cell line. This finding may lead to the development of novel therapies to specifically kill ALDH1⁺ subpopulations (CSCs).

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