Faculté des sciences et de médecine

Breast cancer stem cells with tumor- versus metastasis-initiating capacities are modulated by TGFBR1 inhibition

Fico, Flavia ; Bousquenaud, Mélanie ; Rüegg, Curzio ; Santamaria-Martínez, Albert

In: Stem Cell Reports, 2019, vol. 13, no. 1, p. 1–9

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are defined by their ability to regenerate a tumor upon transplantation. However, it is not yet clear whether tumors contain a single CSC population or different subsets of cells with mixed capacities for initiating primary and secondary tumors. Using two different identification strategies, we studied the overlap between metastatic stem cells and tumor-initiating... More

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    Summary
    Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are defined by their ability to regenerate a tumor upon transplantation. However, it is not yet clear whether tumors contain a single CSC population or different subsets of cells with mixed capacities for initiating primary and secondary tumors. Using two different identification strategies, we studied the overlap between metastatic stem cells and tumor-initiating cells (TICs) in the MMTV-PyMT model. Our results show that in the MMTV-PyMT model, Lin−CD90−ALDHhigh cells retained a high tumor-initiating potential (TIP) in orthotopic transplants, in contrast to Lin−CD24+CD90+, which retained higher metastatic capacity. Interestingly, suppression of TGFβ signaling increased TIC numbers. We here describe the existence of distinct populations of CSCs with differing capacities to initiate tumors in the primary or the secondary site. Inhibiting TGFβ signaling shifts the balance toward the former, which may have unanticipated implications for the therapeutic use of TGFβ/TGFBR1 inhibitors.