Article

Module Map of Stem Cell Genes Guides Creation of Epithelial Cancer Stem Cells

Program in Epithelial Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
Cell stem cell (Impact Factor: 22.15). 05/2008; 2(4):333-44. DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2008.02.009
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Self-renewal is a hallmark of stem cells and cancer, but existence of a shared stemness program remains controversial. Here, we construct a gene module map to systematically relate transcriptional programs in embryonic stem cells (ESCs), adult tissue stem cells, and human cancers. This map reveals two predominant gene modules that distinguish ESCs and adult tissue stem cells. The ESC-like transcriptional program is activated in diverse human epithelial cancers and strongly predicts metastasis and death. c-Myc, but not other oncogenes, is sufficient to reactivate the ESC-like program in normal and cancer cells. In primary human keratinocytes transformed by Ras and I kappa B alpha, c-Myc increases the fraction of tumor-initiating cells by 150-fold, enabling tumor formation and serial propagation with as few as 500 cells. c-Myc-enhanced tumor initiation is cell-autonomous and independent of genomic instability. Thus, activation of an ESC-like transcriptional program in differentiated adult cells may induce pathologic self-renewal characteristic of cancer stem cells.

0 Followers
 · 
91 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogeneous group of tumours in which chemotherapy, the current mainstay of systemic treatment, is often initially beneficial but with a high risk of relapse and metastasis. There is currently no means of predicting which TNBC will relapse. We tested the hypothesis that the biological properties of normal stem cells are re-activated in tumour metastasis and that, therefore, the activation of normal mammary stem cell-associated gene sets in primary TNBC would be highly prognostic for relapse and metastasis. Mammary basal stem and myoepithelial cells were isolated by flow cytometry and tested in low dose transplant assays. Gene expression microarrays were used to establish expression profiles of the stem and myoepithelial populations; these were compared to each other and to our previously established mammary epithelial gene expression profiles. Stem cell genes were classified by Gene Ontology (GO) analysis and the expression of a subset analysed in the stem cell population at single cell resolution. Activation of stem cell genes was interrogated across different breast cancer cohorts and within specific subtypes and tested for clinical prognostic power. A set of 323 genes was identified that was expressed significantly more highly in the purified basal stem cells compared to all other cells of the mammary epithelium. 109 out of 323 genes had been associated with stem cell features in at least one other study in addition to our own, providing further support for their involvement in the biology of this cell type. GO analysis demonstrated an enrichment of these genes for an association with cell migration, cytoskeletal regulation and tissue morphogenesis, consistent with a role in invasion and metastasis. Single cell resolution analysis showed that individual cells co-expressed both epithelial- and mesenchymal-associated genes/proteins. Most strikingly, we demonstrated that strong activity of this stem cell gene set in TNBCs identified those tumours most likely to rapidly progress to metastasis. Our findings support the hypothesis that the biological properties of normal stem cells are drivers of metastasis and that these properties can be used to stratify patients with a highly heterogeneous disease such as TNBC.
    Breast cancer research: BCR 12/2015; 17(1):539. DOI:10.1186/s13058-015-0539-6 · 5.88 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Lung cancer encompasses a heterogeneous group of malignancies. Here we discuss how the remarkable diversity of major lung cancer subtypes is manifested in their transforming cell of origin, oncogenic dependencies, phenotypic plasticity, metastatic competence and response to therapy. More specifically, we review the increasing evidence that links this biological heterogeneity to the deregulation of cell lineage-specific pathways and the transcription factors that ultimately control them. As determinants of pulmonary epithelial differentiation, these poorly characterized transcriptional networks may underlie the etiology and biological progression of distinct lung cancers, while providing insight into innovative therapeutic strategies.Oncogene advance online publication, 30 March 2015; doi:10.1038/onc.2015.85.
    Oncogene 03/2015; DOI:10.1038/onc.2015.85 · 8.56 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Specific combinations of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) disease alleles, including FLT3 and TET2 mutations, confer distinct biologic features and adverse outcome. We generated mice with mutations in Tet2 and Flt3, which resulted in fully penetrant, lethal AML. Multipotent Tet2(-/-);Flt3(ITD) progenitors (LSK CD48(+)CD150(-)) propagate disease in secondary recipients and were refractory to standard AML chemotherapy and FLT3-targeted therapy. Flt3(ITD) mutations and Tet2 loss cooperatively remodeled DNA methylation and gene expression to an extent not seen with either mutant allele alone, including at the Gata2 locus. Re-expression of Gata2 induced differentiation in AML stem cells and attenuated leukemogenesis. TET2 and FLT3 mutations cooperatively induce AML, with a defined leukemia stem cell population characterized by site-specific changes in DNA methylation and gene expression. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Cancer cell 04/2015; 27(4-4):502-515. DOI:10.1016/j.ccell.2015.03.009 · 23.89 Impact Factor