Cancer stem cells are enriched in the side population cells in a mouse model of glioma

Molly A Harris, Hyuna Yang, Benjamin E Low, Joydeep Mukherjee, Joydeep Mukherje, Abhijit Guha, Roderick T Bronson, Leonard D Shultz, Mark A Israel, Kyuson Yun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


The recent identification of cancer stem cells (CSCs) in multiple human cancers provides a new inroad to understanding tumorigenesis at the cellular level. CSCs are defined by their characteristics of self-renewal, multipotentiality, and tumor initiation upon transplantation. By testing for these defining characteristics, we provide evidence for the existence of CSCs in a transgenic mouse model of glioma, S100beta-verbB;Trp53. In this glioma model, CSCs are enriched in the side population (SP) cells. These SP cells have enhanced tumor-initiating capacity, self-renewal, and multipotentiality compared with non-SP cells from the same tumors. Furthermore, gene expression analysis comparing fluorescence-activated cell sorting-sorted cancer SP cells to non-SP cancer cells and normal neural SP cells identified 45 candidate genes that are differentially expressed in glioma stem cells. We validated the expression of two genes from this list (S100a4 and S100a6) in primary mouse gliomas and human glioma samples. Analyses of xenografted human glioblastoma multiforme cell lines and primary human glioma tissues show that S100A4 and S100A6 are expressed in a small subset of cancer cells and that their abundance is positively correlated to tumor grade. In conclusion, this study shows that CSCs exist in a mouse glioma model, suggesting that this model can be used to study the molecular and cellular characteristics of CSCs in vivo and to further test the CSC hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10051-9
Number of pages9
JournalCancer research
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 15 2008


  • Animals
  • Brain Neoplasms
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Glioblastoma
  • Glioma
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Mice, SCID
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Animal
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein beta Subunit
  • S100 Proteins
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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