, Volume 64, Issue 4, pp 477–484 | Cite as

Isolation and characterization of cancer stem cells from cervical cancer HeLa cells

  • Song-Ling Zhang
  • Yi-Shu Wang
  • Tong Zhou
  • Xiao-Wei Yu
  • Zhen-Tong Wei
  • Yu-Lin Li
Original Research


Cervical cancer is one of the most common gynecologic malignancies and poses a serious health problem worldwide. Identification and characterization of cervical cancer stem cells may facilitate the development of novel strategies for the treatment of advanced and metastatic cervical cancer. Breast cancer-resistance protein (Bcrp1)-positive cells were selected from a population of parent HeLa cells using flow cytometry. The invasion capacity of Bcrp1-positive and -negative cells was analyzed with a Boyden chamber invasion test. The tumorigenicity of these cells was determined by in vivo transplantation in non-obesity diabetes/severe combined immunodeficiency (NOD/SCID) mice. The Bcrp1-positive subpopulation accounted for about 7% of the parent HeLa cell population. The proliferative capacity of the Bcrp1-positive cells was greater than that of the Bcrp1-negative cells (P < 0.05). In the invasion assay, the Bcrp1-positive cells demonstrated a greater invasive capacity through the artificial basement membrane than their Bcrp1-negative counterparts. Following transplantation of 104 cells, only the Bcrp1-positive cells formed tumors in NOD/SCID mice. When 105 or 106 cells were transplanted, the tumor incidence and the tumor mass were greater in the Bcrp1-positive groups than those in the Bcrp1-negative groups (P < 0.05). The Bcrp1-positive subpopulation cervical cancer stem cells.


Cervical cancer Cancer stem cells Bcrp1 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30901589).


  1. Albini A, Iwamoto Y, Kleinman HK, Martin GR, Aaronson SA, Kozlowski JM, McEwan RN (1987) A rapid in vitro assay for quantitating the invasive potential of tumor cells. Cancer Res 47:3239–3245Google Scholar
  2. Al-Hajj M, Wicha MS, Benito-Hernandez A, Morrison SJ, Clarke MF (2003) Prospective identification of tumorigenic breast cancer cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100:3983–3988. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0530291100 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bansal N, Herzog TJ, Shaw RE, Burke WM, Deutsch I, Wright JD (2009) Primary therapy for early-stage cervical cancer: radical hysterectomy vs radiation. Am J Obstet Gynecol 201:e481–e489. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2009.06.015 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bapat SA, Mali AM, Koppikar CB, Kurrey NK (2005) Stem and progenitor-like cells contribute to the aggressive behavior of human epithelial ovarian cancer. Cancer Res 65:3025–3029. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-04-3931 Google Scholar
  5. Bonnet D, Dick JE (1997) Human acute myeloid leukemia is organized as a hierarchy that originates from a primitive hematopoietic cell. Nat Med 3:730–737CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Collins AT, Berry PA, Hyde C, Stower MJ, Maitland NJ (2005) Prospective identification of tumorigenic prostate cancer stem cells. Cancer Res 65:10946–10951. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-05-2018 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hass R, Giese G, Meyer G, Hartmann A, Dork T, Kohler L, Resch K, Traub P, Goppelt-Strube M (1990) Differentiation and retrodifferentiation of U937 cells: reversible induction and suppression of intermediate filament protein synthesis. Eur J Cell Biol 51:265–271Google Scholar
  8. Hirschmann-Jax C, Foster AE, Wulf GG, Nuchtern JG, Jax TW, Gobel U, Goodell MA, Brenner MK (2004) A distinct “side population” of cells with high drug efflux capacity in human tumor cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101:14228–14233. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0400067101 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kondo T, Setoguchi T, Taga T (2004) Persistence of a small subpopulation of cancer stem-like cells in the C6 glioma cell line. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101:781–786. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0307618100 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kosmas C, Mylonakis N, Tsakonas G, Vorgias G, Karvounis N, Tsavaris N, Daladimos T, Kalinoglou N, Malamos N, Akrivos T, Karabelis A (2009) Evaluation of the paclitaxel-ifosfamide-cisplatin (TIP) combination in relapsed and/or metastatic cervical cancer. Br J Cancer 101:1059–1065. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6605305 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lapidot T, Sirard C, Vormoor J, Murdoch B, Hoang T, Caceres-Cortes J, Minden M, Paterson B, Caligiuri MA, Dick JE (1994) A cell initiating human acute myeloid leukaemia after transplantation into SCID mice. Nature 367:645–648. doi: 10.1038/367645a0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lewis A M Jr, Krause P, Peden K (2001) A defined-risks approach to the regulatory assessment of the use of neoplastic cells as substrates for viral vaccine manufacture. Dev Biol (Basel) 106:513–535Google Scholar
  13. Mitsiadis TA, Barrandon O, Rochat A, Barrandon Y, De Bari C (2007) Stem cell niches in mammals. Exp Cell Res 313:3377–3385. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2007.07.027 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Olempska M, Eisenach PA, Ammerpohl O, Ungefroren H, Fandrich F, Kalthoff H (2007) Detection of tumor stem cell markers in pancreatic carcinoma cell lines. Hepatobiliary Pancreat Dis Int 6:92–97Google Scholar
  15. Reya T, Morrison SJ, Clarke MF, Weissman IL (2001) Stem cells, cancer, and cancer stem cells. Nature 414:105–111. doi: 10.1038/35102167 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Singh SK, Clarke ID, Terasaki M, Bonn VE, Hawkins C, Squire J, Dirks PB (2003) Identification of a cancer stem cell in human brain tumors. Cancer Res 63:5821–5828Google Scholar
  17. Szotek PP, Pieretti-Vanmarcke R, Masiakos PT, Dinulescu DM, Connolly D, Foster R, Dombkowski D, Preffer F, Maclaughlin DT, Donahoe PK (2006) Ovarian cancer side population defines cells with stem cell-like characteristics and Mullerian Inhibiting Substance responsiveness. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103:11154–11159. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0603672103 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Tu SM, Lin SH, Logothetis CJ (2002) Stem-cell origin of metastasis and heterogeneity in solid tumours. Lancet Oncol 3:508–513CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Gynecology and ObstetricsFirst Hospital of Jilin UniversityChangchunPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of PathobiologyMinistry of Education, Jilin UniversityChangchunPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Norman Bethune College of Jilin UniversityChangchunPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations