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CD133+ single cell-derived progenies of colorectal cancer cell line SW480 with different invasive and metastatic potential

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Single cell progenies (SCPs) inherit biological properties from their isogenetic mother cells. If a single cancer cell can give rise to progenies, which can be passaged sustainably in vitro and produce tumor in xenotransplantation, the cell should be cancer initiating cell. CD133 (Prominin-1, Prom1) is the marker of human colorectal cancer (CRC) stem cells and probably a marker of metastatic cancer stem cells (CSCs). Thirty-three SCPs of CRC cell line SW480 were isolated by limited dilution methods, thirty of which are CD133 positive and three negative. All of the CD133+ SCPs are tumorigenic, and the subcutaneous tumors expanded rapidly, while only 1 of 3 CD133 SCPs developed a minimal tumor in nude mice. Orthotopic transplantation experiments showed that CD133+ SCPs possessed heterogeneity in intestinal wall invasion, lymph node and liver metastases. CD133+ SCPs varied in cell growth, invasive ability, epithelial-mesenchymal-transition and expression of CSCs markers (CD133, CD44, and CXCR4) associated with metastatic potential. CD133 SCPs did not produce secondary transplanted tumor, intestinal invasion and metastasis. The results indicated CD133+ subpopulation of SW480 SCPs bear heterogeneous invasive and metastatic ability, and CRC-CSCs might be a heterogeous subpopulation.

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Single cell progenies


Colorectal carcinoma


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This study was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, No 2010CB529403). This work was funded by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (Grants 30801380, 30770977 and 30670967) and Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (PCSIRT, No. IRT0731). This work was also supported by Municipal Programs of Guangzhou for Science and Technology Development (No. 2007Z3-E4011).

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Correspondence to Yongjian Deng or Yanqing Ding.

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Guangqiu Li and Chao Liu contributed equally to this work.

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Li, G., Liu, C., Yuan, J. et al. CD133+ single cell-derived progenies of colorectal cancer cell line SW480 with different invasive and metastatic potential. Clin Exp Metastasis 27, 517–527 (2010).

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