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Ann Surg Treat Res. 2016 Apr;90(4):183-193. English. Original Article.
Chung E , Oh I , Lee KY .
R&D Center, L&K Biomed Co. Ltd., Seoul, Korea.
Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.

PURPOSE: To determine CD133+ cells defined as cancer stem cells (CSCs) in colon cancer, we examined whether CD133+ clones in HCT116 demonstrate known features of CSCs like sphere-forming ability, chemodrug-resistance, and metastatic potential. METHODS: Magnetic cell isolation and cell separation demonstrated that <1% of HCT116 cells expressed CD133, with the remaining cells being CD133- clones. In colon cancer cells, radioresistance is also considered a CSC characteristic. We performed clonogenic assay using 0.4 Gy γ-irradiation. RESULTS: Interestingly, there were no differences between HCT116 parental and HCT116 CD133+ clones when the cells comprised 0.5% of the total cells, and CD133- clone demonstrated radiosensitive changes compared with parental and CD133+ clones. Comparing gene expression profiles between sphere-forming and nonforming culture conditions of HCT116 subclones by whole RNA sequencing failed to obtain specific genes expressed in CD133+ clones. CONCLUSION: Despite no differences of gene expression profiles in monolayer attached culture conditions of each clone, sphere-forming conditions of whole HCT116 subclones, parental, CD133+, and CD133- increased 1,761 coding genes and downregulated 1,384 genes related to CSCs self-renewal and survival. Thus, spheroid cultures of HCT116 cells could be useful to expand colorectal CSCs rather than clonal expansion depending on CD133 expressions.

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