Okayama University


Cancer Stem Cells Shown to be Maintained by the Differentiated Cancer Cells

December 09, 2013

The self-renewal and differentiation properties of cancer stem cells (CSCs) are regulated and maintained by the microenvironments where CSCs reside. However, the mechanism of this maintenance, especially the maintenance contributed by differentiated cancer cells, remains as of yet unclear.

The research group from Okayama University Graduate school of Natural Science and Technology and other institutions investigated the roles of the differentiated cells from CSCs in the microenvironments using a model cell line of CSC, miPS-LLCcm, from mouse induced pluripotent stem cells. The results indicate that the self-renewal potential of CSCs can be enhanced by the factor(s) secreted from both undifferentiated CSCs and a differentiated population. Furthermore, some factor(s) secreted from the differentiated population of CSCs can also maintain the differentiation capacity and lineage of CSCs.

The findings were published online December 3, 2013 in the journal of International Journal of Cancer.

The study showed that a hierarchy where the differentiated progenies maintain their parent cells exists in the microenvironments of CSCs. A better understanding of this hierarchy could contribute to the development of new strategies of tumor therapies.

This study was funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Contact Information:
Mototaka Senda, Ph.D.
US Representative
Intellectual Property Office, Organization for Research Promotion and Collaboration, Okayama University
Fremont, California USA
TEL: 1-510-797-0907
Email: takasenda@okayama-u.ac.jp

Masaharu Seno, Ph.D.
Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Okayama University, Okayama Japan