JOURNAL ARTICLE

Human lung cancer cell line SPC-A1 contains cells with characteristics of cancer stem cells

C H Zhou, S F Yang, P Q Li
Neoplasma 2012, 59 (6): 685-92
22862169
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) play important roles in occurrence, development, recurrence and metastasis of cancer. Isolation and identification of CSCs have been performed from some cancer tissues or cells. In this paper, human lung adenocarcinoma stem cells were induced and isolated from SPC-A1 cells and their characteristics were determined. SPC-A1 cells were cultured in serum-free medium and epidermal growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor were added into the medium to induce the formation of multicellular tumor spheroids. The results showed that floating multicellular tumor spheroids (named pulmospheres) were formed 5-10 d after the induction of SPC-A1 cells. Real-time PCR analysis showed that in the pulmospheres, the marker of bronchioalveolar stem cells, Clara cell secretary protein and the marker of AT2 cells, alveolar surfactant protein C were highly expressed. Furthermore, such embryonic stem cell markers as octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (OCT-4), Bmi-1, and thyroid transcription factor -1 (TTF-1) were also highly expressed. Some miRNAs as hsa-miR-126, hsa-miR-145, hsa-let-7g, hsa-let-7d, hsa-let-7c, hsa-let-7e and hsa-miR-98, which were lowly expressed in SPC-A1 cells, were not expressed in the pulmospheres. Cell cycle analysis showed that 94.29 % of the pulmosphere cells were in G1 stages. Further study showed that these cells possessed higher proliferation and invasion activity than SPC-A1 cells. Tumorigenicity activity experiments on BALB/c nude mice showed that 1 × 103 of the pulmosphere cells could form tumors with similar pathological features with lung adenocarcinoma. In conclusion, lung adenocarcinoma stem cells were enriched in the pulmosphere cells and were with high tumorigenicity.

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