Putative cancer stem cell (CSC) populations efflux dyes such as Hoechst 33342 giving rise to side populations (SP) that can be analyzed or isolated by flow cytometry. However, Hoechst 33342 is highly toxic, more so to non-SP cells, and thus presents difficulties in interpreting in vivo studies where non-SP cells appear less tumorigenic than SP cells in immunodeficient mice. We searched for non-toxic dyes to circumvent this problem as well as to image these putative CSCs. We found that the fluorescent dye calcein, a product of intracellular Calcein AM cleavage, is effluxed by a small subpopulation, calcein low population (CloP). This population overlaps with SP and demonstrated long term cell viability, lack of cell stress and proliferation in several cancer cell lines when stained whereas Hoechst 33342 staining caused substantial apoptosis and ablated proliferation. We also found that the effluxed dye D-luciferin exhibits strong UV-fluorescence that can be imaged at cellular resolution and spatially overlaps with Calcein AM. In order to evaluate the hypothesis that p53 loss promotes enrichment of putative CSC populations we used Calcein AM, D-luciferin and Mitotracker Red FM as a counterstain to visualize dye-effluxing cells. Using fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry we observed increased dye-effluxing populations in DLD-1 colon tumor cells with mutant p53 versus wild-type (WT) p53-expressing HCT116 cells. Deletion of the wild-type p53 or pro-apoptotic Bax genes induced the putative CSC populations in the HCT116 background to significant levels. Restoration of WT p53 in HCT116 p53−/− cells by an adenovirus vector eliminated the putative CSC populations whereas a control adenovirus vector, Ad-LacZ, maintained the putative CSC population. Our results suggest it is possible to image and quantitatively analyze putative CSC populations within the tumor microenvironment and that loss of pro-apoptotic and tumor suppressing genes such as Bax or p53 enrich such tumor-prone populations.
cancer stem cells; p53; Hoechst 33342; Calcein AM; Bax; colon cancer; microscopy; flow cytometry; side population; calcein low population
When cell populations are incubated with the DNA-binding dye Hoechst 33342 and subjected to flow cytometry analysis for Hoechst 33342 emissions, active efflux of the dye by the ABCG2/BCRP1 transporter causes certain cells to appear as a segregated cohort, known as a side population (SP). Stem cells from several tissues have been shown to possess the SP phenotype. As the lack of specific surface markers has hindered the isolation and subsequent biochemical characterization of epithelial stem cells this study sought to determine the existence of SP cells and expression of ABCG2 in the epithelia of the ocular surface and evaluate whether such SP cells had features associated with epithelial stem cells. Human and rabbit limbal-corneal and conjunctival epithelial cells were incubated with Hoechst 33342, and analyzed and sorted by flow cytometry. Sorted cells were subjected to several tests to determine whether the isolated SP cells displayed features consistent with the stem cell phenotype. Side populations amounting to <1% of total cells, which were sensitive to the ABCG2-inhibitor fumitremorgin C, were found in the conjunctival and limbal epithelia, but were absent from the stem cell-free corneal epithelium. Immunohistochemistry was used to establish the spatial expression pattern of ABCG2. The antigen was detected in clusters of conjunctival and limbal epithelia basal cells but was not present in the corneal epithelium. SP cells were characterized by extremely low light side scattering and contained a high percentage of cells that: showed slow-cycling prior to tissue collection; exhibited an initial delay in proliferation after culturing; and displayed clonogenic capacity and resistance to phorbol-induced differentiation; all features that are consistent with a stem cell phenotype.
Stem cells; Side population; Epithelia; Cornea; Limbus; Conjunctiva
The efflux of Hoechst 33342 by ATP-binding cassette protein G2 (ABCG2) membrane pump allows reproducible identification of a subpopulation of cells by flow cytometric analysis termed the “side population” (SP). The SP identified by constitutive Hoechst efflux contains the stem/progenitor cell population from bone marrow and many solid organs, including prostate. DyeCycle Violet (DCV) is a cell membrane permeable, fluorescent vital dye that intercalates into DNA and is a substrate for ABCG2-mediated efflux. Therefore, DCV was evaluated in this study as a tool for identification of the SP from prostate cancer cell lines and from freshly harvested human prostate tissue. SPs that demonstrated ABCG2-mediated efflux of DCV were identified in the human prostate cancer cell lines CWR-R1, DU-145 and RWPE-1, but not in the BPH-1, LAPC-4 or PC-3 cell lines. Additionally, a SP was identified in enzymatically disaggregated prostate tumors from Transgenic Adenocarcinoma of Mouse Prostate (TRAMP), human benign prostate tissue and human prostate cancer tissue. The causal role of ABCG2-mediated efflux of DCV in the identification of the SP was confirmed by loss of the SP by incubation with the specific inhibitor of ABCG2, Fumitremorgin C. Expression of ABCG2 in the SP cells was confirmed by qRT-PCR and immunofluorescence analysis. Consequently, DCV represents an important new tool for isolation of viable candidate stem cells/cancer stem cells as a SP from cultured prostate cell lines, and prostate tissue specimens, without the requirement for instrumentation with ultra-violet excitation capability and minimizing the risk of damage to DNA in the sorted population.
side population; ABCG2; prostate; prostate cancer; DyeCycle Violet
Utilizing single-cell cloning of the COMMA-D cell line engineered to express β-galactosidase (CDβ) cell line, which exhibits normal in vivo morphogenesis, distinct multipotent, ductal-limited, alveolar-limited and luminal-restricted progenitors, have been isolated and characterized.
A single-cell suspension of CDβ cells was stained using Hoechst dye 33342, followed by analysis and sorting. Cells that effluxed the dye appeared on the left side of a FACS analysis panel and were referred to as side population (SP) cells. Cells that retained the dye appeared on the right side and were referred to as non-SP (NSP) cells. Cells from both SP and NSP regions were sorted and analyzed for outgrowth potential. Additionally, individual clones were derived from single cells sorted from each region.
There was no difference in the outgrowth potential of the SP vs. NSP cells when 5,000 cells per fat pad were transplanted. However, individual clones derived from single cells sorted from either SP or NSP regions had varying growth potential. A total of nine clones were identified, four of which possessed in vivo mammary outgrowth potential and five of which lacked in vivo outgrowth potential. Two of the clones formed mammary lobuloalveolar structures that contained both ducts and alveoli and were termed multipotent. Two of the clones generated either ductal-only or alveolar-only structures and were referred to as ductal-limited or alveolar-limited progenitor clones, respectively. The ability to expand the clones in vitro allowed for the characterization of their unique molecular phenotypes. Among the mammary-specific markers tested, high cytokeratin 5 (CK5) expression was the only marker that correlated with the clones' outgrowth potential. Among the clones that did not show any in vivo outgrowth potential when transplanted alone, one clone showed in vivo growth and incorporated into the mammary lumen when mixed with normal mammary epithelial cells. This clone also showed the highest in vitro expression of CK8 and Elf5and may represent a luminal-restricted progenitor clone. In addition, six "biclones," each made from an SP cell plus an NSP cell, were analyzed. Of these six, three exhibited lobuloalveolar growth.
Distinct immortalized mammary progenitors have been isolated and characterized. Importantly, the results of this study provide further evidence for the existence of distinct ductal and alveolar mammary progenitors.
The studies on cancer-stem-cells (CSCs) have attracted so much attention in recent years as possible therapeutic implications. This study was carried out to investigate the gene expression profile of CSCs in human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells.
We isolated CSCs from A549 cell line of which side population (SP) phenotype revealed several stem cell properties. After staining the cell line with Hoechst 33342 dye, the SP and non-side population (non-SP) cells were sorted using flow cytometric analysis. The mRNA expression profiles were measured using an Affymetrix GeneChip® oligonucleotide array. Among the sixty one differentially expressed genes, the twelve genes inclusive three poor prognostic genes; Aldo-keto reductase family 1, member C1/C2 (AKR1C1/C2), Transmembrane 4 L six family member 1 nuclear receptor (TM4SF1), and Nuclear receptor subfamily 0, group B, member 1 (NR0B1) were significantly up-regulated in SP compared to non-SP cells.
This is the first report indicating the differences of gene expression pattern between SP and non-SP cells in A549 cells. We suggest that the up-regulations of the genes AKR1C1/C2, TM4SF1 and NR0B1 in SP of human adenocarcinoma A549 cells could be a target of poor prognosis in anti-cancer therapy.
Side population (SP) cells in cancers, including multiple myeloma, exhibit tumor-initiating characteristics. In the present study, we isolated SP cells from human myeloma cell lines and primary tumors to detect potential therapeutic targets specifically expressed in SP cells. We found that SP cells from myeloma cell lines (RPMI 8226, AMO1, KMS-12-BM, KMS-11) express CD138 and that non-SP cells include a CD138-negative population. Serial transplantation of SP and non-SP cells into NOD/Shi-scid IL-2γnul mice revealed that clonogenic myeloma SP cells are highly tumorigenic and possess a capacity for self-renewal. Gene expression analysis showed that SP cells from five MM cell lines (RPMI 8226, AMO1, KMS-12-BM, KMS-11, JJN3) express genes involved in the cell cycle and mitosis (e.g., CCNB1, CDC25C, CDC2, BIRC5, CENPE, SKA1, AURKB, KIFs, TOP2A, ASPM), polycomb (e.g., EZH2, EPC1) and ubiquitin-proteasome (e.g., UBE2D3, UBE3C, PSMA5) more strongly than do non-SP cells. Moreover, CCNB1, AURKB, EZH2 and PSMA5 were also upregulated in the SPs from eight primary myeloma samples. On that basis, we used an aurora kinase inhibitor (VX-680) and a proteasome inhibitor (bortezomib) with RPMI 8226 and AMO1 cells to determine whether these agents could be used to selectively target the myeloma SP. We found that both these drugs reduced the SP fraction, though bortezomib did so more effectively than VX-680 due to its ability to reduce levels of both phospho-histone H3 (p-hist. H3) and EZH2; VX-680 reduced only p-hist. H3. This is the first report to show that certain oncogenes are specifically expressed in the myeloma SP, and that bortezomib effectively downregulates expression of their products. Our approach may be useful for screening new agents with which to target a cell population possessing strong tumor initiating potential in multiple myeloma.
The lack of reliable methods to efficiently isolate and propagate stem cell populations is a significant obstacle to the advancement of cell-based therapies for human diseases. One isolation technique is based on efflux of the fluorophore Hoechst 33342. Using fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), a sub-population containing adult stem cells has been identified in a multitude of tissues in every mammalian species examined. These rare cells are referred to as the ‘side population’ or SP due to a distinctive FACS profile that results from weak staining by Hoechst dye. Although the SP contains multi-potent cells capable of differentiating toward hematopoietic and mesenchymal lineages; there is currently no method to efficiently expand them. Here, we describe a spinner-flask culture system containing C2C12 myoblasts attached to spherical microcarriers that act to support the growth of non-adherent, post-natal murine skeletal muscle and bone marrow SP cells. Using FACS and hemocytometry, we show expansion of unfractionated EGFP+ SP cells over 6 wks. A significant number of these cells retain characteristics of freshly-isolated, unfractionated SP cells with respect to protein expression and dye efflux capacity. Expansion of the SP will permit further study of these heterogeneous cells and determine their therapeutic potential for regenerative and reparative therapies.
Cytotoxic drug resistance developing after chemotherapy is thought to be the main cause of treatment failure in several human tumours, including small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Cell lines showing drug resistance following prolonged exposure to a single agent frequently acquire resistance to several functionally unrelated drugs, the phenomenon of multi-drug resistance (MDR). Classical MDR is thought to arise from changes effecting a reduction in intracellular availability of cytotoxic drugs. We describe a flow cytometry (FCM) technique to monitor the MDR phenotype in drug resistant variants of SCLC and non-SCLC cell lines. The technique is based on a multiparametric analysis of the nuclear binding of a model chemotherapeutic agent, the fluorescent dye Hoechst 33342 (Ho342), which is capable of supra-vital staining of DNA in intact, viable cells. A laboratory derived drug resistant SCLC cell line, H69/LX4, showed a significant (30%) reduction in nuclear binding compared to the parental line H69/P. Exposure to verapamil (VPL) rapidly increased (within 2 min) nuclear binding of Ho342, and the new equilibrium of nuclear staining, attained within 20 min, remained lower than the level achieved in the parental cell line, suggesting some ability of H69/LX4 to limit the effect of the drug efflux blocker. A drug resistant large cell carcinoma line showed only a small reduction (10%) in nuclear binding when compared to the parent line, and this difference was not altered by VPL. A drug resistant adenocarcinoma line showed less than 10% difference in nuclear binding compared with the parental line and neither line was significantly affected by VPL treatment. Our findings suggest that different mechanisms of resistance may occur in lung tumours of different tissue types. This technique may be extended to the rapid and direct examination of biopsy specimens of human solid tumours for evidence of multi-drug resistance.
At least some cancer stem cells (CSCs) display intrinsic drug resistance that may thwart eradication of a malignancy by chemotherapy. We have explored the genesis of such resistance by studying mouse models of liver cancer driven by either MYC or the combination of oncogenic forms of AKT and NRAS. A common manifestation of chemoresistance in CSCs is efflux of the DNA-binding dye Hoechst 33342. We found that only the MYC-driven tumors contained a subset of cells that efflux Hoechst 33342. This “side population” (SP) was enriched for CSCs when compared to non-SP tumor cells and exhibited markers of hepatic progenitor cells. The SP cells could differentiate into non-SP tumor cells, with coordinate loss of chemoresistance, progenitor markers and the enrichment for CSCs. In contrast, non-SP cells did not give rise to SP cells. Exclusion of Hoechst 33342 is mediated by ABC drug transporter proteins that also contribute to chemoresistance in cancer. We found that the MDR1 transporter was responsible for the efflux of Hoechst from SP cells in our MYC-driven model. Accordingly, SP cells and their tumor-initiating subset were more resistant than non-SP cells to chemotherapeutics that are effluxed by MDR1.
The oncogenotype of a tumor can promote a specific mechanism of chemoresistance that can contribute to the survival of hepatic CSCs. Under circumstances that promote differentiation of CSCs into more mature tumor cells, the chemoresistance can be quickly lost. Elucidation of the mechanisms that govern chemoresistance in these mouse models may illuminate the genesis of chemoresistance in human liver cancer.
A major challenge in the treatment of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is the failure of chemotherapy, which is likely due to the presence of the cancer stem cells (CSCs).
To identify side population (SP) cells and characterize s-like properties in human pancreatic cancer cell lines (h-PCCLs) and to exploit the efficacy of concomitant targeting of multiple key transcription factors governing the stemness of pancreatic CSCs in suppressing CSC-like phenotypes.
Flow cytometry and Hoechst 33342 DNA-binding dye efflux assay were used to sort SP and non-SP (NSP) cells from three h-PCCLs: PANC-1, SW1990, and BxPc-3. The self-renewal ability, invasiveness, migration and drug resistance of SP cells were evaluated. Expression of CSC marker genes was analyzed. Tumorigenicity was assessed using a xenograft model in nude mice. Effects of a complex decoy oligonucleotide (cdODN-SCO) designed to simultaneously targeting Sox2, Oct4 and c-Myc were assessed.
CSCs were enriched in the side proportion (SP) cells contained in the h-PCCLs and they possessed aggressive growth, invasion, migration and drug-resistance properties, compared with NSP cells. SP cells overexpressed stem cell markers CD133 and ALDH1, pluripotency maintaining factors Nanog, Sox2 and Oct4, oncogenic transcription factor c-Myc, signaling molecule Notch1, and drug resistant gene ABCG2. Moreover, SP cells consistently demonstrated significantly greater tumorigenicity than NSP cells in xenograft model of nude mice. CdODN–SOC efficiently suppressed all CSC properties and phenotypes, and minimized the tumorigenic capability of the SP cells and the resistance to chemotherapy. By comparison, the negative control failed to do so.
The findings indicate that targeting the key genes conferring the stemness of CSCs can efficiently eliminate CSC-like phenotypes, and thus may be considered a new approach for cancer therapy. Specifically, the present study establishes the combination of Sox2/Oct4/c-Myc targeting as a potential anti-pancreatic cancer agent worthy of further studies in preclinical settings.
Hoechst 33342 is a fluorescent dye used for cell selection from tumours based upon intratumour location. When the dye is administered i.v. to tumour-bearing animals, cellular fluorescence is directly related to the proximity of cells to blood vessels. The present study compared inherent Hoechst fluorescence between in vitro-stained EMT6/Ro (mouse mammary sarcoma) cells and host cells, to determine if these populations have different staining characteristics that may influence cell selection procedures. Tumour cell fluorescence exceeded host cell staining by 8-fold when pure cell populations (EMT6/Ro monolayer cells, mouse spleen and peritoneal cells) were compared, and 3-fold for tumour cell-enriched and host cell-enriched populations from solid tumours. Inherent uptake of HO 33342 appeared to be correlated with cell volume. These differences in inherent dye uptake between host and tumour cells were found to be minor in comparison to the fluorescence gradient between the 10% brightest and 10% dimmest (78-fold) cell populations from in vivo-stained tumours.
The phytochemical curcumin, from the Indian spice turmeric, has many biological properties, including anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic activities. We have examined the effects of curcumin on the rat C6 glioma cell line. Treated and control cells were analyzed by Hoechst 33342 dye and flow cytometry. We observed a decrease in the side population (SP) of C6 cells after daily curcumin treatment of the C6 cells. Direct incubation of curcumin to C6 cells during the Hoechst assay also decreased SP. Since SP has been associated with stem cell populations, curcumin may be a dietary phytochemical with potential to target cancer stem cells.
C6 glioma; cancer stem cells; curcumin; side population
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) are multipotent cells that reside in the bone marrow and replenish all adult hematopoietic lineages throughout the lifetime of the animal. While experimenting with staining of murine bone marrow cells with the vital dye, Hoechst 33342, we discovered that display of Hoechst fluorescence simultaneously at two emission wavelengths revealed a small and distinct subset of whole bone marrow cells that had phenotypic markers of multipotential HSC. These cells were shown in competitive repopulation experiments to contain the vast majority of HSC activity from murine bone marrow and to be enriched at least 1,000-fold for in vivo reconstitution activity. Further, these Hoechst-stained side population (SP) cells were shown to protect recipients from lethal irradiation at low cell doses, and to contribute to both lymphoid and myeloid lineages. The formation of the Hoechst SP profile was blocked when staining was performed in the presence of verapamil, indicating that the distinctly low staining pattern of the SP cells is due to a multidrug resistance protein (mdr) or mdr-like mediated efflux of the dye from HSC. The ability to block the Hoechst efflux activity also allowed us to use Hoechst to determine the DNA content of the SP cells. Between 1 and 3% of the HSC were shown to be in S-G2M. This also enabled the purification of the G0-G1 and S-G2M HSC had a reconstitution capacity equivalent to quiescent stem cells. These findings have implications for models of hematopoietic cell development and for the development of genetic therapies for diseases involving hematopoietic cells.
Autologous chondrocyte implantation is an established technique for the repair of degenerated articular cartilage. Recently, the detection of side population (SP) cells, which have the ability to strongly efflux Hoechst 33342 (Ho) fluorescence dye, has attracted attention as a method of stem cell isolation. Although SP cells from synovial tissue were expected to be an excellent source for this tissue engineering, their precise character in the synovial tissue has not been determined.
Synovial tissues from bovine metacarpophalangeal joints were used as a stem cell source. For efficient collection of stem cells, we first prepared a preculture before sorting in medium containing FBS at variable concentrations for 4 days. Using a cell sorter and the Ho-dye, a poorly stained population enriched with stem cells was then isolated. To determine the characteristics of the stem cells, specific marker genes such as CD34, Flk-1, c-Kit, Abcg-2 were identified by real-time PCR. Sorted SP cells were cultured in a stem cell medium supplemented with bFGF, SCF and fibronectin, and evaluated for their differentiation potentials into chondrocytes, osteocytes and myocytes.
SP cells of synovium tissue were increased from 2% of the total cell population to approximately 10% of the total cells by preculture in the 1%FBS contained medium. Sorted SP cells expressed CD34, Flk-1, c-Kit, Abcg-2 and Mdr-1 -all are important marker genes for stem cell characteristics. The SP cells could be further expanded ex vivo while maintaining stem cell potentials such as marker gene expression, Ho-dye efflux potential and multiple differentiation potentials into chondrocyte, osteocyte and myocyte.
In the present study, we demonstrated that the cells with outstanding stem cell properties were efficiently collected as a SP fraction from bovine synovial membrane. Furthermore, we have described an efficient isolation method and the culture conditions for ex vivo expansion that maintains their important characteristics. Our results suggest that the SP cells of synovium tissue might be important candidates as sources for cell transplantation.
Side population (SP) cells are characterized by their ability to efflux the vital dye Hoechst 33342 (Sigma-Aldrich, St. Louis, MO) due to expression of the ATP binding cassette (ABC)-dependent transporter ABCG2, and are highly enriched for stem/progenitor cell activity. In this study we identified SP cells in murine thyroid, which are composed of two populations of cells: CD45(−)/c-kit(−)/Sca1(+) and CD45(−)/c-kit(−)/Sca1(−) cells. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed that SP cells highly express ABCG2 and the stem cell marker genes encoding nucleostemin and Oct4, whereas the expression of genes encoding the thyroid differentiation markers, thyroid peroxidase, thyroglobulin (TG), and TSH receptor, and two transcription factors, thyroid transcription factor 1 (TITF1) and paired PAX8, critical for thyroid specific gene expression, are low in SP cells as compared with the main population cells. In situ hybridization and double immunofluorescence demonstrated that cells expressing Abcg2 gene reside in the interfollicular space of the thyroid gland. Approximately half and a small percentage of the ABCG2-positive cells were also positive for vimentin and calcitonin, respectively. After 9 wk under three-dimensional thyroid primary culture conditions, main population cells formed an epithelial arrangement and follicle-like structures that are immunoreactive for TITF1 and TG. In contrast, SP cells demonstrated very few morphological changes without any epithelial or follicle-like structure and negative immunostaining for TITF1 and TG. These results demonstrate that thyroid possesses SP cells that may represent stem/progenitor cells.
Lung cancer is among the most lethal malignancies with a high metastasis and recurrence rate. Recent studies indicate that tumors contain a subset of stem-like cancer cells that possess certain stem cell properties. Herein, we used Hoechst 33342 dye efflux assay and flow cytometry to isolate and characterize the side population (SP) cells from human lung cancer cell line NCI-H460 (H460). We show that the H460 SP cells harbor stem-like cells as they can readily form anchorage-independent floating spheres, possess great proliferative potential, and exhibit enhanced tumorigenicity. Importantly, the H460 SP cells were able to self-renew both in vitro and in vivo. Finally, we show that the H460 SP cells preferentially express ABCG2 as well as SMO, a critical mediator of the Hedgehog (HH) signaling, which seems to play an important role in H460 lung cancer cells as its blockage using Cyclopamine greatly inhibits cell-cycle progression. Collectively, our results lend further support to the existence of lung cancer stem cells and also implicate HH signaling in regulating large-cell lung cancer (stem) cells.
Pancreas stem cells are a potential source of insulin-producing β cells for the therapy of diabetes. In adult tissues the ‘side population’ (SP) of cells that effluxes the DNA binding dye Hoechst 33342 through ATP-binding cassette transporters has stem cell properties. We hypothesised therefore that the SP would expand in response to β cell injury and give rise to functional β cells. SP cells were flow sorted from dissociated pancreas cells of adult mice, analysed for phenotype and cultured with growth promoting and differentiation factors before analysis for hormone expression and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. SP cell number and colony forming potential (CFP) increased significantly in models of type diabetes, and after partial pancreatectomy, in the absence of hyperglycaemia. SP cells, ∼1% of total pancreas cells at 1 week of age, were enriched >10-fold for CFP compared to non-SP cells. Freshly isolated SP cells contained no insulin protein or RNA but expressed the homeobox transcription factor Pdx1 required for pancreas development and β cell function. Pdx1, along with surface expression of CD326 (Ep-Cam), was a marker of the colony forming and proliferation potential of SP cells. In serum-free medium with defined factors, SP cells proliferated and differentiated into islet hormone-expressing cells that secreted insulin in response to glucose. Insulin expression was maintained when tissue was transplanted within vascularised chambers into diabetic mice. SP cells in the adult pancreas expand in response to β cell injury and are a source of β cell progenitors with potential for the treatment of diabetes.
The cancer stem cell hypothesis suggests that neoplastic clones are maintained exclusively by a small subpopulation of cells, which have indefinite proliferation and differentiation potentials and give rise to phenotypically diverse cancer cells. Cancer stem cells have been isolated by their ability to efflux Hoechst 33342 dye and are referred to as the ‘side population' (SP).
Methods and results:
The Hoechst efflux assay was used to isolate and characterize the SP from murine D121 lung carcinoma cells. Here, we demonstrated that D121-SP cells contain cancer stem cell characteristics, that is, upregulation of the transcription factors SOX2 and Oct 4 in D121-SP cells. In addition, the migration of D121-SP was decreased, and apoptosis of D121-SP was upregulated following knocking down of SOX2 in D121 cells. Importantly, downregulation of SOX2 in D121 cells markedly suppressed their metastatic potential in syngeneic mice.
These results suggest that the SP is an enriched source of lung tumour cells with stem cell properties and that SOX2 has an important role in maintaining stem cell properties and functions that may be a potential target for effective lung cancer therapy.
cancer stem cells; side population; non-small cell lung tumour cells; transcription factor; SOX2; Hoechst 33342 dye
The airway epithelium is the first line of contact with the inhaled external environment and is continuously exposed to and injured by pollutants, allergens, and viruses. However, little is known about epithelial repair and in particular the identity and role of tissue resident stem/progenitor cells that may contribute to epithelial regeneration. The aims of the present study were to identify, isolate, and characterize side population (SP) cells in human tracheobronchial epithelium. Epithelial cells were obtained from seven nontransplantable healthy lungs and four asthmatic lungs by pronase digestion. SP cells were identified by verapamil-sensitive efflux of the DNA-binding dye Hoechst 33342. Using flow cytometry, CD45− SP, CD45+ SP, and non-SP cells were isolated and sorted. CD45− SP cells made up 0.12% ± 0.01% of the total epithelial cell population in normal airway but 4.1% ± 0.06% of the epithelium in asthmatic airways. All CD45− SP cells showed positive staining for epithelial-specific markers cytokeratin-5, E-cadherin, ZO-1, and p63. CD45− SP cells exhibited stable telomere length and increased colony-forming and proliferative potential, undergoing population expansion for at least 16 consecutive passages. In contrast with non-SP cells, fewer than 100 CD45− SP cells were able to generate a multilayered and differentiated epithelium in air-liquid interface culture. SP cells are present in human tracheobronchial epithelium, exhibit both short- and longterm proliferative potential, and are capable of generation of differentiated epithelium in vitro. The number of SP cells is significantly greater in asthmatic airways, providing evidence of dysregulated resident SP cells in the asthmatic epithelium.
Epithelium; Tissue-specific stem cell; Human; Asthma
Purpose of review
Recently, the prospective isolation and characterization of cancer stem cells (CSCs) from various human malignancies revealed that they are resistant to radiation and chemotherapies. Therefore, CSCs may be the “roots” and ideal target for therapeutic intervention. Here, we will focus on reviewing the historical perspective, recent literatures on bladder cancer stem cells and their clinical implications.
Cancer stem cells have been prospectively isolated from bladder cancer tissues from patient specimens, established cancer cell lines and xenografts, based on the expression of a combination of cell surface receptors, cytokeratin markers, drug transporters and the efficient efflux of the Hoechst 33342 dye (side population). Further, global gene expression profiling of CSCs revealed an activated gene-signature of CSCs similar to that of aggressive bladder cancer, supporting the concept that a tumor cell subpopulation is contributing to bladder cancer progression. Finally, our studies on the preclinical targeting of bladder CSCs in vitro and in xenografts using a blocking antibody for CD47 reveal promising efficacy.
Functionally distinct CSCs exist in human bladder cancer and can be prospectively isolated. Continuing research will be important to identify their cell of origin, programs balancing self-renewal and differentiation, and to identify additional therapeutic options to target bladder CSCs.
Bladder cancer; cancer stem cells; basal cells; therapeutic targeting; CD47
Multiple myeloma (MM) is the second most commonly diagnosed hematologic malignancy. Although new drugs, including bortezomib and lenalidomide, have improved the treatment landscape for MM patients, MM remains incurable. Therefore, screening for novel anti-myeloma drugs is necessary. Gambogic acid (GA), the main active ingredient of gamboges secreted from the Garcinia hanburryi tree, has been reported to exhibit potent anticancer activity in certain solid tumors and hematological malignancies, while there are few studies that are available concerning its effects on MM cells. In the present study, we investigated the anticancer activity of GA on the MM RPMI-8226 cells and further studied the underlying mechanisms by which GA affected the cells. RPMI-8226 cells were cultured and the effect of GA on cell proliferation was analyzed using MTT assay. Hoechst 33258 staining was used to visualize nuclear fragmentation, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were detected. GA was found to have a significant, dose-dependent effect on growth inhibition and apoptosis induction in RPMI-8226 cells. This activity is associated with the accumulation of ROS, which contributes to the activation of caspase-3 and the cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), accompanied with apoptosis in RPMI-8226 cells treated with GA. Mammalian SIRT1, as the closest homolog of the yeast Sir2, was extensively involved in regulating cell processes, including cell senescence, aging and neuronal protection, as well as having anti-apoptotic properties. Moreover, SIRT1 overexpression has been shown to protect cancer cells from chemotherapy and ionizing radiation. In the present study, we demonstrated that GA has the potential to downregulate the expression of SIRT1 via ROS accumulation. In conclusion, our study found that GA is able to induce apoptosis in RPMI-8226 cells via ROS accumulation followed by caspase-3 activation, PARP cleavage and SIRT1 downregulation. These results suggest that GA may have the potential to not only induce apoptosis in MM cells, but also to decrease the relapse rate of MM.
gambogic acid; reactive oxygen species; SIRT1; multiple myeloma
Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSC) are an abundant population of adult stem cells with the potential to differentiate into several specialized tissue types, including neural and neural crest-derived cells. This study sought to determine if ADSC express keratocyte-specific phenotypic markers when cultured under conditions inducing differentiation of corneal stromal stem cells to keratocytes.
Human subcutaneous adipose tissue was obtained by lipoaspiration. ADSC were isolated by collagenase digestion and differential centrifugation. Side population cells in ADSC were demonstrated using fluorescence-activated cell sorting after staining with Hoechst 33342. Differentiation to keratocyte phenotype was induced in fibrin gels or as pellet cultures with serum-free or reduced-serum media containing ascorbate. Keratocyte-specific gene expression was characterized using western blotting, quantitative RT–PCR, and immunostaining.
ADSC contained a side population and exhibited differentiation to adipocytes and chondrocytes indicating adult stem-cell potential. Culture of ADSC in fibrin gels or as pellets in reduced-serum medium with ascorbate and insulin induced expression of keratocan, keratan sulfate, and aldehyde dehydrogenase 3 family, member A1 (ALDH3A1), products highly expressed by differentiated keratocytes. Expression of differentiation markers was quantitatively similar to corneal stromal stem cells and occurred in both serum-free and serum containing media.
ADSC cultured under keratocyte-differentiation conditions express corneal-specific matrix components. Expression of these unique keratocyte products suggests that ADSC can adopt a keratocyte phenotype and therefore have potential for use in corneal cell therapy and tissue engineering.
Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans leukotoxin (Ltx) is a member of the repeats-in-toxin (RTX) family of pore-forming toxins and kills human immune cells. Currently, it remains unclear whether toxin-mediated killing of target cells involves the induction of necrosis or apoptosis. Therefore, the goal of this investigation was to determine whether Ltx is capable of causing apoptotic cell death in toxin-sensitive promyelocytic HL-60 cells. Multiparameter flow cytometric analysis of toxin-treated cells stained with Hoechst 33258 (or 33342) and 7-aminoactinomycin D allowed us to identify four populations: viable cells, early apoptotic cells, late apoptotic and/or secondarily necrotic cells, and a final population that was composed of cellular debris. Compared with control cells, HL-60 cells treated with Ltx exhibited a gradual decrease in forward light scatter with a coincident increase in side light scatter, indicative of a decrease in cell size and organelle condensation, respectively. Additional experiments demonstrated that Ltx-treated cells showed evidence of internucleosomal DNA fragmentation and phosphatidylserine translocation. The results of our studies clearly demonstrate that Ltx can kill HL-60 cells by inducing apoptosis. We hypothesize that elimination of acute inflammatory cells via this mechanism plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of diseases caused by A. actinomycetemeomitans.
Studies of transplantable rodent tumours have suggested that malignant tissue might experience transient perfusion at the microvascular level. The purpose of the work reported here was to investigate whether transient perfusion can be demonstrated in xenografted human tumours. Tumours of four melanoma lines (A-07, D-12, R-18, U-25), grown orthotopically in Balb/c nu/nu mice, were included in the study. Transient perfusion was studied by using the double-fluorescent staining technique. Hoechst 33342 and DiOC7(3) were either administered simultaneously or Hoechst 33342 was administered 20 min before DiOC7(3). Detection of transient perfusion by this method requires that vessels are non-functional for at least 5 min owing to the distribution half-lives of the dyes in the blood. Usable combinations of dye concentrations were found by varying the concentrations of Hoechst 33342 and DiOC7(3) systematically. The level of perfusion mismatch following simultaneous administration of the dyes ranged from approximately 1.5% for U-25 tumours to approximately 3.0% for R-18 tumours at these combinations. Moreover, the fraction of vessels stained only with Hoechst 33342 and the fraction of vessels stained only with DiOC7(3) were not significantly different whether the dyes were administered simultaneously or sequentially. Transient perfusion could not be demonstrated in any of the tumour lines. Thus, the fraction of vessels stained only with Hoechst 33342 and the fraction of vessels stained only with DiOC7(3) were not significantly higher after sequential than after simultaneous administration of the dyes. Moreover, the vessels stained only with Hoechst 33342 and the vessels stained only with DiOC7(3) were randomly distributed within the tumours whether the dyes were administered simultaneously or sequentially. Consequently, acute hypoxia caused by transient perfusion is probably a less pronounced phenomenon in malignant tissue than previous studies of rodent tumours have suggested.
Identification of progenitor/stem cell populations that differentiate specifically towards superficial zone articular chondrocytes is an unmet challenge for cartilage tissue engineering. Using fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis we found a characteristic pattern of “side population” (SP) stem cells identified by the Hoechst33342 dye. We established micromass cultures from this population of cells and tested their chondrogeneic potential. Control (untreated) cultures were minimally stained for alcian blue- a marker of chondrogenesis. However, with BMP-7 treatment, alcian blue staining was increased. Superficial zone protein- a specific marker for articular cartilage superficial zone chondrocytes- increased with BMP-7 and/or TGF-β1 treatment in SP micromass cultures. Our results demonstrate the presence of stem/progenitor cells in the SP fraction isolated from the surface zone of bovine cartilage and have the ability to specifically differentiate towards the superficial zone articular chondrocyte.
BMP7; TGFβ1; Superficial zone protein; Articular Cartilage; Stem/Progenitor cells; Side population