Lessons from common markers of tumor-initiating cells in solid cancers

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2011 Dec;68(24):4009-22. doi: 10.1007/s00018-011-0772-9. Epub 2011 Jul 24.

Abstract

Tumor-initiating cells (TICs) have emerged as the driving force of carcinomas, which appear as hierarchically structured. TICs as opposed to the tumor bulk display tumor forming potential, which is linked to a certain degree of self-renewal and differentiation, both major features of stem cells. Markers such as CD44, CD133, CD24, EpCAM, CD166, Lgr5, CD47, and ALDH have been described, which allow for the prospective enrichment of TICs. It is conspicuous that the same markers allow for an enrichment of TICs in various entities and, on the other hand, that different combinations of these markers were independently reported for the same tumor entity. Potential functions of these markers in the regulation of TIC phenotypes remained somewhat neglected although they might give insights in common molecular themes of TICs. The present review discusses major TIC markers with respect to their function and potential contributions to the tumorigenic phenotype of TICs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AC133 Antigen
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase / physiology
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Antigens, CD / physiology
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / metabolism
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / physiology
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / physiology*
  • CD24 Antigen / metabolism
  • CD24 Antigen / physiology
  • CD47 Antigen / metabolism
  • CD47 Antigen / physiology
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / physiology
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal / metabolism
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal / physiology
  • Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule
  • Fetal Proteins / metabolism
  • Fetal Proteins / physiology
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Glycoproteins / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronan Receptors / metabolism
  • Hyaluronan Receptors / physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Peptides / physiology
  • Phenotype
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / physiology

Substances

  • AC133 Antigen
  • ALCAM protein, human
  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CD24 Antigen
  • CD47 Antigen
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal
  • Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule
  • Fetal Proteins
  • Glycoproteins
  • Hyaluronan Receptors
  • LGR5 protein, human
  • PROM1 protein, human
  • Peptides
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase