Tumor Biology

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 1503–1510 | Cite as

Fluorouracil selectively enriches stem-like cells in the lung adenocarcinoma cell line SPC

  • Mu-mu Shi
  • Yan-lei Xiong
  • Xin-shan Jia
  • Xin Li
  • Li Zhang
  • Xiao-lei Li
  • En-Hua Wang
Research Article


Most adult stem cells are in the G0 or quiescent phase of the cell cycle and account for only a small percentage of the cells in the tissue. Thus, isolation of stem cells from tissues for further study represents a major challenge. This study sought to enrich cancer stem cells and explore cancer stem-like cell clones using 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) in the lung adenocarcinoma cell line, SPC. Proliferation inhibition was analyzed using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assays, according to which half maximal inhibitory concentration values were calculated. Expression levels of stem cell markers after treatment with 5-FU were examined using immunofluorescence and Western blotting. Additionally, side population (SP) cells were sorted using FACS. Properties of SP cells were evaluated by using Transwell, colony-forming assays, and tumor formation experiments. 5-FU greatly inhibits proliferation, especially of cells in S phase. SP cells possess greater invasive potential, higher clone-forming potential, and greater tumor-forming ability than non-SP cells. Treatment with 5-FU enriches the SP cells with stem cell properties in human lung adenocarcinoma cell lines.


Cancer stem cells Lung adenocarcinoma cell 5-Fluorouracil Side population (SP) cells 



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant 30972966 to X. S. Jia).

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mu-mu Shi
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yan-lei Xiong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xin-shan Jia
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xin Li
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Li Zhang
    • 5
  • Xiao-lei Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • En-Hua Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PathologyThe First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical UniversityShenyangChina
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, College of Basic Medical SciencesChina Medical UniversityShenyangChina
  3. 3.Department of Pathology, College of Basic Medical SciencesHaerbin Medical UniversityHaerbinChina
  4. 4.Department of Pharmacology, College of Life Science and BiopharmaceuticsShenyang Pharmaceutical UniversityShenyangChina
  5. 5.Department of NeurologyUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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