The Hedgehog signaling pathway plays an essential role in maintaining the CD44+CD24-/low subpopulation and the side population of breast cancer cells

Haruo Tanaka, Masafumi Nakamura, Chizu Kameda, Makoto Kubo, Norihiro Sato, Syoji Kuroki, Masao Tanaka, Mitsuo Katano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The side population (SP) and the CD44+/CD24-/low population have been reported in separate studies to include more tumorigenic cells than other populations, and to have the ability to form new tumors and undergo heterogeneous differentiation in breast cancer tissue. However, the relationship between these two populations has not yet been explored in breast cancer cells. Here it is shown that the SP and the CD44+/CD24 -/low populations are overlapping. Both populations were resistant to paclitaxel. Components of the Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway were more highly expressed in these cell populations at both the mRNA and protein levels compared with other populations. Furthermore, inhibition of Hh signaling activity suppressed the proliferation of both populations. The significance of Hh signaling activity in the proliferation of both populations was confirmed by the effect of an si-RNA against Gli1, a transactivator of the Hh signaling pathway, on the proliferation of both populations. These data suggest that the Hh signaling pathway is essential for the proliferation of the tumorigenic population of breast cancer cells, and that this pathway might represent a new candidate for breast cancer therapy targeting cancer stem cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2147-2157
Number of pages11
JournalAnticancer research
Volume29
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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