Side population in oral squamous cell carcinoma possesses tumor stem cell phenotypes

Cancer Lett. 2009 May 18;277(2):227-34. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2008.12.015. Epub 2009 Jan 30.


To characterize the biological features of side population (SP) in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OCC), SP and non-SP were sorted and compared. The SP cells were more clonogenic and in nude mice, only 10,000 SP cells were needed for tumor development compared to 1,000,000 non-SP cells. The SP cells expressed higher levels of ABCG2, ABCB1, CD44, Oct-4, Bmi-1, NSPc1 and CK19. The SP cells generated SP and non-SP populations, whereas the non-SP cells generated only non-SP. These findings provide the first evidence that SP in OCC possesses tumor stem cell phenotypes and may play an important role in OCC tumorigenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Differentiation / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Cell Cycle / physiology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / pathology*
  • Transplantation, Heterologous


  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Neoplasm Proteins