A subpopulation of CD133(+) cancer stem-like cells characterized in human oral squamous cell carcinoma confer resistance to chemotherapy

Cancer Lett. 2010 Mar 28;289(2):151-60. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2009.08.010. Epub 2009 Sep 11.


The potential role of cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) in chemoresistance of human oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) was examined. A small subpopulation (1-2%) of CD133(+) CSCs was identified in OSCC cell lines and tissues. These CD133(+) CSCs possess higher clonogenicity, invasiveness, and increased in vivo tumorigenicity as compared to CD133(-) counterparts. Meanwhile, CD133(+) CSCs were substantially resistant to standard chemotherapy, wherein both in vitro and in vivo treatment with paclitaxel resulted in a marked enrichment for CD133(+) CSCs. Our data suggest that CD133(+) cells represent a small subpopulation of CSCs that may contribute to chemoresistance in human OSCC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • AC133 Antigen
  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Colony-Forming Units Assay
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Mouth Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Mouth Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / pathology*
  • Peptides / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • AC133 Antigen
  • Antigens, CD
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Glycoproteins
  • PROM1 protein, human
  • Peptides
  • Prom1 protein, mouse
  • RNA, Messenger