Expression of cancer stem cell marker during 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide-induced rat tongue carcinogenesis
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One of the theories regarding oral carcinogenesis is that the tumor growth is initiated from cancer stem cells (CSCs) that self-renew and give rise to differentiated tumor cells, like stem cells do in normal tissues. The most common methods of CSC identification are based on CSC marker expression in carcinogenesis. This study examined the expression of CD133 and CD44, the most commonly used CSC biomarkers in oral squamous cell sarcoma (SCC), with the goal of identifying molecular biomarkers whose expression is associated with the multistep oral carcinogenesis. The expression of CD133, CD44, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), and Cytokeratin (CK) was examined by Western blot analysis and confirmed by immunohistochemistry in a 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide-induced rat tongue carcinogenesis model. Also, the expression of aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1), OCT-4 and Nanog were investigated for alteration of cancer cell stemness by Western blot. Along with the progress of multistep carcinogenesis, there were slight increases of CD133 and CD44 expression in the dysplasia group compared with normal rats. However, CD133 protein level was significantly overexpressed in SCC. The expression of PCNA and CK were low in normal group, but sequentially increased in SCC. ALDH1, Nanog and OCT-4 expression were significantly increased according to SCC grade during carcinogenesis. The findings indicate that CD133 is useful in identifying oral CSCs, which suggests that CD133 may serve as a predictor to identify CSCs with a high risk of oral cancer development.
KeywordsCD133 CD44 Cancer stem cell Carcinogenesis
This work was supported by the Korea Research Foundation Grant funded by the Korean Government (MOEHRD) (NRF-201310008107) and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Korea Government (MSIP) (No. 2011-0030759).
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