Article

Imaging and analysis of 3D tumor spheroids enriched for a cancer stem cell phenotype.

The Department of Experimental Therapeutics, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
Journal of Biomolecular Screening (Impact Factor: 2.01). 08/2010; 15(7):820-9. DOI: 10.1177/1087057110376541
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Tumors that display a highly metastatic phenotype contain subpopulations of cells that display characteristics similar to embryonic stem cells. These cells exhibit the ability to undergo self-renewal; slowly replicate to retain a nucleoside analog label, leading to their definition as "label-retaining cells"; express specific surface markers such as CD44(+)/CD24(-/low) and CD133; and can give rise to cells of different lineages (i.e., they exhibit multipotency). Based on these characteristics, as well as their demonstrated ability to give rise to tumors in vivo, these cells have been defined as tumor-initiating cells (TICs), tumor-propagating cells, or cancer stem cells (CSCs). These cells are highly resistant to chemotherapeutic agents and radiation and are believed to be responsible for the development of both primary tumors and metastatic lesions at sites distant from the primary tumor. Established cancer cell lines contain CSCs, which can be propagated in vitro using defined conditions, to form 3D tumor spheroids. Because the vast majority of studies to identify cancer-associated genes and therapeutic targets use adherent cells grown in 2 dimensions on a plastic substrate, the multicellular composition of these 3D tumor spheroids presents both challenges and opportunities for their imaging and characterization. The authors describe approaches to image and analyze the properties of CSCs within 3D tumor spheroids, which can serve as the basis for defining the gene and protein signatures of CSCs and to develop therapeutic strategies that will effectively target this critically important population of cells that may be responsible for tumor progression.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
200 Views
  • Advanced drug delivery reviews 04/2014; · 11.96 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: TNF-alpha-related-apoptosis-inducing-ligand (TRAIL) has been explored as a therapeutic drug to kill cancer cells. Cancer cells in the circulation are subjected to apoptosis-inducing factors. Despite the presence of these factors, cells are able to extravasate and metastasize. The homotypic and heterotypic cell-cell interactions in a tumor are known to play a crucial role in bestowing important characteristics to cancer cells that leave the primary site. Spheroid cell culture has been extensively used to mimic these physiologically relevant interactions. In this work, we show that the breast cancer cell lines BT20 and MCF7, cultured as 3D tumor spheroids, are more resistant to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis by downregulating the expression of death receptors (DR4 and DR5) that initiate TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. For comparison, we also investigated the effect of TRAIL on cells cultured as a 2D monolayer. Our results indicate that tumor spheroids are enriched for CD44hiCD24loALDH1hi cells, a phenotype that is predominantly known to be a marker for breast cancer stem cells. Furthermore, we attribute the TRAIL-resistance and cancer stem cell phenotype observed in tumor spheroids to the upregulation of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)/prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) pathway. We show that inhibition of the COX-2/PGE2 pathway by treating tumor spheroids with NS-398, a selective COX-2 inhibitor, reverses the TRAIL-resistance and decreases the incidence of a CD44hiCD24lo population. Additionally, we show that siRNA mediated knockdown of COX-2 expression in MCF7 cells render them sensitive to TRAIL by increasing the expression of DR4 and DR5. Collectively, our results show the effect of the third-dimension on the response of breast cancer cells to TRAIL and suggest a therapeutic target to overcome TRAIL-resistance.
    PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10):e111487. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cancer stem cells (CSC) isolated from multiple tumor types differentiate in vivo and in vitro when cultured in serum; however, the factors responsible for their differentiation have not yet been identified. The first aim of the present study was to identify CD133(high)/CD44(high) DU145 prostate CSCs and compare their profiles with non-CSCs as bulk counterparts of the population. Subsequently, the two populations continued to be three-dimensional multicellular spheroids. Differentiation was then investigated with stem cell-related genomic characteristics. Polymerase chain reaction array analyses of cell cycle regulation, embryonic and mesenchymal cell lineage-related markers, and telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) and Notch signaling were performed. Immunohistochemistry of CD117, Notch1, Jagged1, Delta1, Sox2, c-Myc, Oct4, KLF4, CD90 and SSEA1 were determined in CSC and non-CSC monolayer and spheroid subcultures. Significant gene alterations were observed in the CD133(high)/CD44(high) population when cultured as a monolayer and continued as spheroid. In this group, marked gene upregulation was determined in collagen type 9 α1, Islet1 and cyclin D2. Jagged1, Delta-like 3 and Notch1 were respectively upregulated genes in the Notch signaling pathway. According to immunoreactivity, the staining density of Jagged1, Sox2, Oct4 and Klf-4 increased significantly in CSC spheroids. Isolated CSCs alter their cellular characterization over the course of time and exhibit a differentiation profile while maintaining their former surface antigens at a level of transcription or translation. The current study suggested that this differentiation process may be a mechanism responsible for the malignant process and tumor growth.
    Oncology letters 06/2014; 7(6):2103-2109. · 0.99 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
81 Downloads
Available from
Jun 4, 2014