Microarray-based analysis of microRNA expression in breast cancer stem cells
1 Cancer Institute of People's Liberation Army, Xinqiao Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, 400037, China
2 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, 400038, China
3 Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, 400038, PR China
Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2010, 29:174 doi:10.1186/1756-9966-29-174Published: 31 December 2010
This study aimed to determine the miRNA profile in breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) and to explore the functions of characteristic BCSC miRNAs.
We isolated ESA+CD44+CD24-/low BCSCs from MCF-7 cells using fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). A human breast cancer xenograft assay was performed to validate the stem cell properties of the isolated cells, and microarray analysis was performed to screen for BCSC-related miRNAs. These BCSC-related miRNAs were selected for bioinformatic analysis and target prediction using online software programs.
The ESA+CD44+CD24-/low cells had up to 100- to 1000-fold greater tumor-initiating capability than the MCF-7 cells. Tumors initiated from the ESA+CD44+CD24-/low cells were included of luminal epithelial and myoepithelial cells, indicating stem cell properties. We also obtained miRNA profiles of ESA+CD44+CD24-/low BCSCs. Most of the possible targets of potential tumorigenesis-related miRNAs were oncogenes, anti-oncogenes or regulatory genes.
We identified a subset of miRNAs that were differentially expressed in BCSCs, providing a starting point to explore the functions of these miRNAs. Evaluating characteristic BCSC miRNAs represents a new method for studying breast cancer-initiating cells and developing therapeutic strategies aimed at eradicating the tumorigenic subpopulation of cells in breast cancer.