Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are targeted primarily at rapidly proliferating cancer cells and are unable to eliminate cancer stem cells in the G0 phase. Thus, these treatments cannot prevent the recurrence and metastasis of cancer. Understanding the mechanisms by which cancer stem cells are maintained in the dormant G0 phase, and how they become active is key to developing new cancer therapies. The current study found that the anti-cancer drug 5-fluorouracil, acting on the oral squamous cell carcinoma KB cell line, selectively killed proliferating cells while sparing cells in the G0 phase. Bisulfite sequencing PCR showed that demethylation of the Sox2 promoter led to the expression of Sox2. This then resulted in the transformation of cancer stem cells from the G0 phase to the division stage and suggested that the transformation of cancer stem cells from the G0 phase to the division stage is closely related to an epigenetic modification of the cell.
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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant no. 81370100 to Xinshan Jia).
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Chen, X., Li, X., Zhao, B. et al. Dormancy activation mechanism of oral cavity cancer stem cells. Tumor Biol. 36, 5551–5559 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13277-015-3225-5
- Oral cancer
- Cancer stem cells