JOURNAL ARTICLE

Cancer stem-like cells can be isolated with drug selection in human ovarian cancer cell line SKOV3

Li Ma, Dongmei Lai, Te Liu, Weiwei Cheng, Lihe Guo
Acta Biochimica et Biophysica Sinica 2010, 42 (9): 593-602
20705681
One emerging model for the development of drug-resistant tumors utilizes a pool of self-renewing malignant progenitors known as cancer stem cells (CSCs) or cancer-initiating cells (CICs). The purpose of this study was to propagate such CICs from the ovarian cancer cell line SKOV3. The SKOV3 sphere cells were selected using 40.0 micromol/l cisplatin and 10.0 micromol/l paclitaxel in serum-free culture system supplemented with epidermal growth factor, basic fibroblast growth factor, leukemia inhibitory factor, and insulin or standard serum-containing system. These cells formed non-adherent spheres under drug selection (cisplatin and paclitaxel) and serum-free culture system. The selected sphere cells are more resistant to cisplatin, paclitaxel, adriamycin, and methotrexate. Importantly, the sphere cells have the properties of self-renewal, with high expression of the stem cell genes Nanog, Oct4, sox2, nestin, ABCG2, CD133, and the stem cell factor receptor CD117 (c-kit). Consistently, flow cytometric analysis revealed that the sphere cells have a much higher percentage of CD133(+)/CD117(+)-positive cells (71%) than differentiated cells (33%). Moreover, the SKOV3 sphere cells are more tumorigenic. Furthermore, cDNA microarray and subsequent ontological analyses revealed that a large proportion of the classified genes were related to angiogenesis, extracellular matrix, integrin-mediated signaling pathway, cell adhesion, and cell proliferation. The subpopulation isolation from the SKOV3 cell line under this culture system offers a suitable in vitro model for studying ovarian CSCs in terms of their survival, self-renewal, and chemoresistance, and for developing therapeutic drugs that specifically interfere with ovarian CSCs.

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