, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 1-8
Date: 23 Nov 2011

Establishment of a highly migratory subclone reveals that CD133 contributes to migration and invasion through epithelial–mesenchymal transition in pancreatic cancer

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Pancreatic cancer is a lethal disease because of invasion and early metastasis. Although CD133, a marker of cancer stem cells (CSCs) in a variety of solid tumors, has been studied in recent decades, its function remains obscure. Recent reports suggest that epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) may be related to the properties of CSCs. In this study, we investigated whether CSC markers are associated with EMT. For Capan1M9, a highly migratory cell subclone established from human pancreatic cancer cell line Capan-1, CD133 expression, migration, and invasion were greater than for the parent cells. In Capan1M9 cells, the EMT-related transcription factors Slug and Snail were up-regulated, and N-cadherin and fibronectin were also substantially increased. In contrast, occludin and desmoplakin were suppressed. Knockdown of endogenous CD133 in the Capan1M9 cells led to Slug suppression and reduction of migration and invasion. Taken together, CD133 has an important role in migration and invasion by facilitating EMT in pancreatic cancer cells.