Characterization of CD44 variant expression in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas
2014 (English)In: Tumor Biology, ISSN 1010-4283, E-ISSN 1423-0380, Vol. 35, no 3, 2053-2062 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
CD44 is a complex family of molecules, associated with aggressive malignancies and cancer stem cells. However, the role of CD44 variants in tumor progression and treatment resistance is not clear. In this study, the expression of CD44 and its variants was assessed in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC). Furthermore, subpopulations of cells expressing high amounts of CD44 variants were identified and characterized, for e.g., cell cycle phase and radioresistance. Results revealed high and homogenous CD44 and CD44v7 expression in four cell lines and CD44v4 and CD44v6 in three cell lines. CD44v3 was highly expressed in two cell lines, whereas CD44v5, CD44v7/8, CD44v10, CD133, and CD24 demonstrated no or moderate expression. Moreover, a subpopulation of very high CD44v4 expression was identified, which is independent of cell phase, demonstrating increased proliferation and radioresistance. In cell starvation experiments designed to enrich for cancer stem cells, a large population with dramatically increased expression of CD44, CD44v3, CD44v6, and CD44v7 was formed. Expression was independent of cell phase, and cells demonstrated increased radioresistance and migration rate. Our results demonstrate that the heterogeneity of tumor cells has important clinical implications for the treatment of HNSCC and that some of the CD44 variants may be associated with increased radioresistance. Highly expressed CD44 variants could make interesting candidates for selective cancer targeting.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 35, no 3, 2053-2062 p.
Cell and Molecular Biology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-221093DOI: 10.1007/s13277-013-1272-3ISI: 000333536300041PubMedID: 24122205OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-221093DiVA: diva2:707649