Stem cell profiling in head and neck cancer reveals an Oct-4 expressing subpopulation with properties of chemoresistance

Stefan Reers, Ann Christin Pfannerstill, Regina Maushagen, Ralph Pries, Barbara Wollenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: In the past decade cancer, including head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC), is increasingly being regarded as a stem cell associated disease which arises from cells with the property of stemness. According to the cancer stem cell (CSC) theory, only a specific subpopulation of cancer cells has the ability to initiate and perpetuate cancer growth, especially under treatment. In this article we describe a subpopulation of cells within HNSCC that expresses the stemness factor Oct-4, which leads to apoptotic resistance after exposure to chemotherapeutic agents. Materials and methods: Permanent cell lines and HNSCC tissue were analyzed for expression of stem cell markers using flow cytometric, immunohistochemical approaches and an antibody based protein array. Chemotherapeutic agent-induced growth inhibition, also known as "enrichment", was determined by the colorimetric cell proliferation assay (MTT-based) and putative stem cell markers were investigated by flow cytometry. Results: Various potential CSC markers were identified in heterogenic expression profiles in permanent cell lines and solid tumors. Our data suggest the Oct-4A isoform as a marker of stemness in HNSCC and the enrichment of cancer stem-like cells by various chemotherapeutic agents was associated with a significantly higher expression of Oct-4. Conclusion: This data suggests that many potential CSC markers are expressed on different expression levels in HNSCC. Among these markers Oct-4(A) plays a pivotal role in the detection of cancer cells with enhanced chemoresistance and provide evidence for the existence of cancer stem-like cells in HNSCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-162
Number of pages8
JournalOral Oncology
Volume50
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • CD44
  • Cancer stem cells
  • GATA4
  • Goosecoid
  • HNF-3ß/FoxA2
  • HNSCC
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Oct-4
  • Oct-4A
  • Otx2
  • PDX-1/IPF1
  • Sox17
  • Stem cell profiling

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Stem cell profiling in head and neck cancer reveals an Oct-4 expressing subpopulation with properties of chemoresistance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this