Sub-sets of cancer stem cells differ intrinsically in their patterns of oxygen metabolism.
e62493 - ?
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The glycolytic response of hypoxic cells is primarily mediated by the hypoxia inducible factor alpha (HIF-1α) but even in the presence of abundant oxygen tumours typically show high rates of glycolysis. Higher levels of HIF-1α in tumours are associated with a poorer prognosis and up-regulation of markers of epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) due to HIF-1α actions. We have recently shown that EMT occurs within the CD44(high) cancer stem cell (CSC) fraction and that epithelial and EMT CSCs are distinguished by high and low ESA expression, respectively. We here show that hypoxia induces a marked shift of the CSC fraction towards EMT leading to altered cell morphology, an increased proportion of CD44(high)/ESA(low) cells, patterns of gene expression typical of EMT, and enhanced sphere-forming ability. The size of EMT fractions returned to control levels in normoxia indicating a reversible process. Surprisingly, however, even under normoxic conditions a fraction of EMT CSCs was present and maintained high levels of HIF-1α, apparently due to actions of cytokines such as TNFα. Functionally, this EMT CSC fraction showed decreased mitochondrial mass and membrane potential, consumed far less oxygen per cell, and produced markedly reduced levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These differences in the patterns of oxygen metabolism of sub-fractions of tumour cells provide an explanation for the general therapeutic resistance of CSCs and for the even greater resistance of EMT CSCs. They also identify potential mechanisms for manipulation of CSCs.
AuthorsGammon, L; Biddle, A; Heywood, HK; Johannessen, AC; Mackenzie, IC
- College Publications