Reduced expression of INK4a/ARF genes in stem-like sphere cells from rat sarcomas

Hiromasa Fujii, Kanya Honoki, Toshifumi Tsujiuchi, Akira Kido, Kazuhiro Yoshitani, Toshio Mori, Yoshinori Takakura
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 2007 October 26, 362 (3): 773-8
The presence of cancer stem cells, in both hematopoietic and solid malignancies, has been recently linked to their pathogenesis. We aimed to identify the characteristics and stem-like properties of sphere-colony forming cells in rat osteosarcoma and malignant fibrous histiocytoma cell lines. The results showed that both cell lines possessed an ability to form spherical, clonally expanding colonies in anchorage-independent, serum-starved conditions in N2/1% methylcellulose medium. The sphere cells showed stem-like properties with the ability to self-renew, and expressed the stem cell-related STAT3 and Bmi1 genes. Interestingly, spheres from both sarcomas remarkably decreased the expression of INK4a/ARF locus genes, p16(INK4a) and p19(ARF), which could be related to the resistance against cell senescence and apoptosis. Spheres showed strong tumorigenicity with metastatic potential in vivo via the inoculation into syngeneic rats, suggesting the presence of these populations might contribute to the tumor development such as metastasis via the resistance to apoptotic stimuli.

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