Systematic name M9246
Brief description Down-regulated genes in the cancer progenitor (stem) cells corresponding to side population (SP) MCF7 cells (breast cancer) positive for MUC1 [GeneID=4582].
Full description or abstract Chemotherapy, radiation, and growth inhibitory drugs preferentially eliminate actively growing cancer cells. Cancer recurrence is currently thought to be due to nondividing cancer stem/progenitor cells that are resistant to these therapies. Different therapeutic approaches need to be considered for the elimination of the cancer stem cell population. Immunotherapy is one such approach. In addition to specificity and lack of toxicity, immunotherapy targets cancer cells irrespective of their state of proliferation, as long as they express particular tumor antigens. For that reason, it is important to examine if the tumor antigens that are currently being tested as immunotherapeutic agents are also present on cancer stem cells. This study aimed to determine if one well-known tumor antigen, MUC1, which is being tested as an immunotherapy target on tumor cells, is also expressed on the quiescent cancer stem/progenitor cells. We used the so-called side population (SP) cells found in the MCF7 breast cancer cell line, which we first confirmed by cell surface markers and gene profiling to be highly enriched in cells that fulfill specific functional, phenotypic, and molecular criteria for being tumor stem/progenitor cells. We show that these cells express MUC1 and give rise to MUC1(+) tumors in vivo, which maintain the MUC1(+) SP population. MUC1 on SP cells is hypoglycosylated and heavily sialylated; the characteristics of the tumor-specific form were expressed on mature cancer cells and recognized by tumor-specific T cells and antibodies. This suggests that stem/progenitor cells, like mature tumor cells, would be targets of MUC1-directed immunotherapy.
Collection C2: Curated
      CGP: Chemical and Genetic Perturbations
Source publication Pubmed 18381450   Authors: Engelmann K,Shen H,Finn OJ
Exact source Table 2bS
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Source species Homo sapiens
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