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Geetha, Shanmugam and Amrutha, Mohan and Khushbu, Kumari and Jiss, Maria Louis (2019) A novel reporter construct for screening small molecule inhibitors that specifically target self-renewing cancer cells. Experimental cell research, 383 (2). ISSN 1090-2422

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Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a subset of cancer cells, which possess self-renewal ability, and lead to tumor progression, metastasis, and resistance to therapy. Live detection and isolation of CSCs are important to understand the biology of CSCs as well as to screen drugs that target them. Even though CSCs are detected using surface markers, there is a lot of inconsistencies for that in a given cancer type. At the same time, self-renewal markers like ALDH1A1, OCT4A and SOX2, which are intracellular molecules, are reliable markers for CSCs in different cancers. In the present study, we generated a reporter construct for self-renewing CSCs, based on ALDH1A1 expression. Oral cancer cells harboring ALDH1A1-DsRed2 were used to screen inhibitors that target CSCs. Our results showed that Comb1, a cocktail of inhibitors for EGF and TGF-β pathways and their intermediates, effectively reduced the DsRed2 population to 34%. Our immunohistochemical analysis on primary oral cancer corroborated the importance of EGF and TGF-β pathways in sustaining CSCs. Since these two pathways are also critical for the self-renewal and differentiation of normal stem cells, Comb1 might abolish them as well. On analysis of the effect of Comb1 on normal murine bone marrow cells, there was no significant change in the stem cell self-renewal and differentiation potential in the treated group compared to untreated cells. To conclude, we claim that ALDH1A1-DsRed2 is a useful tool to detect CSCs, and Comb1 is effective in targeting CSCs without affecting normal stem cells.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ALDH1A1-reporter construct; Bone marrow stem cells; Cancer stem cells; Oral cancer; Small molecule inhibitors
Subjects: Cancer Research
Depositing User: Central Library RGCB
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2020 11:02
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 11:02
URI: http://rgcb.sciencecentral.in/id/eprint/927

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