Maintenance of tumor initiating cells of defined genetic composition by nucleostemin
Ligon, Keith L.
Hahn, William C.
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CitationOkamoto, N., M. Yasukawa, C. Nguyen, V. Kasim, Y. Maida, R. Possemato, T. Shibata, et al. 2011. “Maintenance of Tumor Initiating Cells of Defined Genetic Composition by Nucleostemin.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108 (51): 20388–93. doi:10.1073/pnas.1015171108.
AbstractRecent work has identified a subset of cells resident in tumors that exhibit properties similar to those found in normal stem cells. Such cells are highly tumorigenic and may be involved in resistance to treatment. However, the genes that regulate the tumor initiating cell (TIC) state are unknown. Here, we show that overexpression of either of the nucleolar GTP-binding proteins nucleostemin (NS) or GNL3L drives the fraction of genetically defined tumor cells that exhibit markers and tumorigenic properties of TICs. Specifically, cells that constitutively express elevated levels of NS or GNL3L exhibit increased TWIST expression, phosphorylation of STAT3, expression of genes that induce pluripotent stem cells, and enhanced radioresistance; in addition, they form tumors even when small numbers of cells are implanted and exhibit an increased propensity to metastasize. GNL3L/NS forms a complex with the telomerase catalytic subunit [human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT)] and the SWItch-Sucrose NonFermentable (SWI-SNF) complex protein brahma-related gene 1 (BRG1), and the expression of each of these components is necessary to facilitate the cancer stem cell state. Together, these observations define a complex composed of TERT, BRG1, and NS/GNL3L that maintains the function of TICs.
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