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1.  CD133+CXCR4+ colon cancer cells exhibit metastatic potential and predict poor prognosis of patients 
BMC Medicine  2012;10:85.
Colorectal cancer (CRC), which frequently metastasizes to the liver, is one of the three leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Growing evidence suggests that a subset of cells exists among cancer stem cells. This distinct subpopulation is thought to contribute to liver metastasis; however, it has not been fully explored in CRC yet.
Flow cytometry analysis was performed to detect distinct subsets with CD133 and CXCR4 markers in human primary and metastatic CRC tissues. The 'stemness' and metastatic capacities of different subpopulations derived from the colon cancer cell line HCT116 were compared in vitro and in vivo. The roles of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and stromal-cell derived factor-1 (SDF-1) in the metastatic process were also investigated. A survival curve was used to explore the correlation between the content of CD133+CXCR4+ cancer cells and patient survival.
In human specimens, the content of CD133+CXCR4+ cells was higher in liver metastases than in primary colorectal tumors. Clonogenic and tumorigenic cells were restricted to CD133+ cells in the HCT116 cell line, with CXCR4 expression having no impact on the 'stemness' properties. We found that CD133+CXCR4+ cancer cells had a high metastatic capacity in vitro and in vivo. Compared with CD133+CXCR4- cells, CD133+CXCR4+ cancer cells experienced EMT, which contributed partly to their metastatic phenotype. We then determined that SDF-1/CXCL12 treatment could further induce EMT in CD133+CXCR4+ cancer cells and enhance their invasive behavior, while this could not be observed in CD133+CXCR4- cancer cells. Blocking SDF-1/CXCR4 interaction with a CXCR4 antagonist, AMD3100 (1,10-[1,4-phenylenebis(methylene)]bis-1,4,8,11 -tetraazacyclotetradecane octahydrochloride), inhibited metastatic tumor growth in a mouse hepatic metastasis model. Finally, a high percentage of CD133+CXCR4+ cells in human primary CRC was associated with a reduced two-year survival rate.
Strategies targeting the SDF-1/CXCR4 interaction may have important clinical applications in the suppression of colon cancer metastasis. Further investigations on how high expression of CXCR4 and EMT occur in this identified cancer stem cell subset are warranted to provide insights into our understanding of tumor biology.
PMCID: PMC3424958  PMID: 22871210
colorectal cancer; cancer stem cell; CXCR4; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; liver metastasis
2.  Expression of TRAF6 and ubiquitin mRNA in skeletal muscle of gastric cancer patients 
To investigate the prognostic significance of tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR),-associated factor 6 (TRAF6),-and ubiquitin in gastric cancer patients.
Biopsies of the rectus abdominis muscle were obtained intra operatively from 102 gastric cancer patients and 29 subjects undergoing surgery for benign abdominal diseases, and muscle TRAF6 and ubiquitin mRNA expression and proteasome proteolytic activities were assessed.
TRAF6 was significantly upregulated in muscle of gastric cancer compared with the control muscles. TRAF6 was upregulated in 67.65% (69/102) muscle of gastric cancer. Over expression of TRAF6 in muscles of gastric cancer were associated with TNM stage, level of serum albumin and percent of weight loss. Ubiquitin was significantly upregulated in muscle of gastric cancer compared with the control muscles. Ubiquitin was upregulated in 58.82% (60/102) muscles of gastric cancer. Over expression of ubiquitin in muscles of gastric cancer were associated with TNM (Tumor-Node-Metastasis) stage and weight loss. There was significant relation between TRAF6 and ubiquitin expression.
We found a positive correlation between TRAF6 and ubiquitin expression, suggesting that TRAF6 may up regulates ubiquitin activity in cancer cachexia. While more investigations are required to understand its mechanisms of TRAF6 and ubiquitin in skeletal muscle. Correct the catabolic-anabolic imbalance is essential for the effective treatment of cancer cachexia.
PMCID: PMC3523060  PMID: 23013936
Gastric cancer; TRAF6; Ubiquitin; Mrna; Skeletal muscle; Cachexia

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