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Study of the relative frequency and participation of cancer stem cells subpopulations in the process of metastasis of oral squamous cell carcinoma

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Nathália Martins Lopes
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: Bauru.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Odontologia de Bauru (FOB/SDB)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Camila de Oliveira Rodini Pegoraro; Rosana Rossi Ferreira; Vanessa Soares Lara; Maria Renata Sales Nogueira
Advisor: Camila de Oliveira Rodini Pegoraro

The presence of metastasis in cervical lymph nodes is the most significant prognostic factor for the oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), one of the most common malignant neoplasms of the head and neck. Studies have associated the mechanisms of tumor progression, recurrence and metastasis with the presence and maintenance of cancer stem cells (CSC), which correspond to the most migratory and highly metastatic cellular subpopulation when compared to other cell subpopulations within the tumor. Moreover, recent evidence shows that there is a link between the CSC and the process of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), an event in which the cells lose their polarity and cell-cell adhesion and exhibit a mesenchymal morphology, which allows them to migrate beyond the primary tumor. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to evaluate, in vitro, the combination of the biological properties related to CSC and EMT phenotypes with the invasive and metastatic behavior of the corresponding primary and metastatic OSCC SCC-9 cell line. For this, parental (SCC-9 ZsGreen) and metastatic (SCC-9 ZsGreen LN-1) OSCC cell lines, obtained after in vivo tumorigenesis assays were characterized regarding the ability of proliferation and migration, as well as the presence and proportion of CSC subpopulation, based on the capacity of generating tumor colonies, preferably holoclones, and tumor spheres. Gene expression assays (qRTPCR) were also conducted to verify the differential expression levels of CSC markers (CD44, BMI-1, ALDH-1 and p75NTR) and EMT (SNAIL1, TWIST1, AXL, vimentin, Ecadherin and N-cadherin) markers in both tumor cell lines, using human palate epithelial cells (HPEC) as control. Both proliferation and cell migration capacity, as well as the numbers of holoclones and tumor spheres were significantly higher in metastatic cell line compared to the parental. Furthermore, the metastatic cell line SCC-9 ZsGreen LN-1 showed significantly higher expression of CD44, BMI-1, ALDH- 1, vimentin, and N-cadherin and lower expression of E-cadherin, when compared to parental cell line. The metastatic potential of SCC-9 ZsGreen LN-1 seems to be a consequence of the greater amount subpopulation with CSC phenotype that also underwent the EMT process. Therefore, it is suggested that the biological properties related to metastatic ability of SCC-9 ZsGreen LN-1 cell line are related to both CSC and EMT phenotypes. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 15/00101-7 - Study of the relative frequency and participation of cancer stem cells subpopulations in the process of metastasis of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Grantee:Nathália Martins Lopes
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Master