1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital; Hualien, Taiwan
2. Institute of Medical Sciences, Tzu Chi University; Hualien, Taiwan
3. Stem Cell Laboratory, Department of Research, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, Hualien, Taiwan
4. Department of Occupational medicine, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital; Hualien, Taiwan
5. Department of Pediatrics, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital; Hualien, Taiwan
Cancer stem cells are an attractive therapeutic target for cancer. The present study examined stem cell characteristics of CD133+ cells isolated from endometrial cancer. Phenotypic characteristics, proliferation, migration, anchorage-independent growth, chemoresistance, gene expression profile and tumorigenicity of CD133+ tumor cells were assessed. Primary tumor exhibited immunoreactivity for CD133. Endometrial CD133+ tumor cells enhanced proliferation rate, colony formation, chemotaxis migration ability, and chemoresistance to cisplatin, paclitaxel, and doxorubicin than CD133- cells. CD133+ cells expressed more cancer stem cells markers such as EpCAM, aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 and insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor than CD133- cells. Moreover, CD133+ cells also increased expression of embryonic stem cell markers including oct4, nanog, sox2, and cmyc than CD133- cells. Finally, CD133+ tumor cells could generate xenograft but not CD133- tumor cells. CD133 and Ki67 were extensively expressed in the xenograft. In conclusion, endometrial CD133+ tumor cells displayed cancer stem cell characteristics and might represent a valuable tool for identifying endometrial cancer stem cells and hence a potential therapeutic target.
Keywords: Endometrial cancer, CD133, cancer stem cell, tumorigenesis, chemoresistance