Uncontrolled self-renewal plays a direct function in the progression of different types of carcinomas. The same molecular pathway that manages self-renewal in normal stem cells also seems to manage cancer stem cells. Here, we examine the expressions of self-renewal regulatory factors Oct4, Nanog, Sox2, nucleostemin, Zfx, Esrrb, Tcl1, Tbx3, and Dppa4 in tissue samples of colon, prostate, and bladder carcinomas as well as cancer cell lines HT-29, Caco-2, HT-1376, LNCaP, and HepG2. We used reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction to examine expressions of the above mentioned regulatory factors in cancer cell lines HT-29, Caco-2, HT-1376, LNCaP, and HepG2 and in 20 tumor tissue samples. Total RNA was isolated by the ISOGEN method. RNA integrity was checked by agarose gel electrophoresis and spectrophotometry. Expressions of Oct4 and nucleostemin at the protein level were determined by immunocytochemistry. A significant relationship was found between tumor grade and self-renewal gene expression. Expressions of stem cell specific marker genes were detected in all examined cancer cell lines, in 40% to 100% of bladder cancer samples, and in 60% to 100% of colon and prostate cancer samples. Oct4 expressed in 100% of tumor tissue samples. Our data show that stem cell markers Oct4, Nanog, Sox2, nucleostemin, Bmi, Zfx, Esrrb, Tcl1, Tbx3, and Dppa4 significantly express in cancer cell lines and cancer tissues. Hence, these markers might be useful as potential tumor markers in the diagnosis and/or prognosis of tumors.
Keywords: Colonic neoplasms; Neoplastic stem cells; Prostatic neoplasms; Self-renewal gene; Urinary bladder neoplasms.