EpCAM is a putative stem marker in retinoblastoma and an effective target for T-cell-mediated immunotherapy

Moutushy Mitra, Mallikarjuna Kandalam, Anju Harilal, Rama Shenkar Verma, Uma Maheswari Krishnan, Sethuraman Swaminathan, Subramanian Krishnakumar
Molecular Vision 2012, 18: 290-308

PURPOSE: The molecular markers cluster of differentiation (CD)24, CD44, adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP) binding cassette protein G2 (ABCG2), and epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) are widely used, individually or in combination, to characterize some types of cancer stem cells. In this study we characterized the EpCAM+ retinoblastoma (RB) cells for their cancer stem-like properties in vitro. Additionally, we targeted RB tumor cells via redirecting T cells using bispecific EpCAM×CD3 antibody.

METHODS: Flow cytometry was used to study the co-expression of EpCAM with putative cancer stem cell markers, such as CD44, CD24, and ABCG2, in RB primary tumors. In vitro methyl thiazol tetrazolium (MTT) assay, invasion assay, and neurosphere formation assay were performed to characterize EpCAM+ cells for their cancer stem/progenitor cell-like properties. We assessed the in vitro efficacy of bispecific EpCAM×CD3 antibody on RB tumor cell proliferation and validated the results by evaluating effector cytokine production in the culture medium with the ELISA method.

RESULTS: EpCAM was co-expressed with all cancer stem cell markers (CD44, CD24, and ABCG2) in primary RB tumors. EpCAM+ cells showed significantly higher proliferative invasive potential and neurosphere formation in vitro compared to EpCAM⁻ Y79 cells. EpCAM+ cells showed higher β-catenin expression compared to EpCAM- cells. EpCAM×CD3 significantly retarded proliferation of RB primary tumor cells. EpCAM×CD3 effectively induced the secretion of effector cytokines, such as interferon (IFN)-γ, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-10, IL-2, and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, and also perforin levels by pre-activated lymphocytes.

CONCLUSIONS: EpCAM might be a novel cancer stem cell marker in RB. EpCAM×CD3 antibody redirecting T cells to attack RB tumor cells may prove effective in RB management. Further preclinical studies are needed to confirm the initial findings of our study.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"