Nanog, a homeodomain transcription factor, is an essential regulator for promotion of self-renewal of embryonic stem cells and inhibition of their differentiation. It has been demonstrated that nanog1 as well as nanogp8, a retrogene of nanog1, is preferentially expressed in advanced stages of several types of cancer, suggesting their involvement during cancer progression. Here, we investigated the expression of Nanog in well-characterized colon cancer cell lines. Expression of Nanog was detectable in 5 (HCT116, HT29, RKO, SW48, SW620) out of seven cell lines examined. RNA expression analyses of nanog1 and nanogp8 indicated that, while nanog1 was a major form in SW620 as well as in teratoma cells Tera-2, nanogp8 was preferentially expressed in HT29 and HCT116. In accordance with this, shRNA-mediated knockdown of nanog1 caused the reduction of Nanog in SW620 but not in HT29. Inhibition of Nanog in SW620 cells negatively affected cell proliferation and tumor formation in mouse xenograft. Biochemical subcellular fractionation and immunostaining analyses revealed predominant localization of Nanog in cytoplasm in SW620 and HT29, while it was mainly localized in nucleus in Tera-2. Our data indicate that nanog1 and nanogp8 are differentially expressed in colon cancer cells, and suggest that their expression contributes to proliferation of colon cancer cells.
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Inc.