Identification of cancer stem cell markers in human malignant mesothelioma cells

Farhana Ishrat Ghani, Hiroto Yamazaki, Satoshi Iwata, Toshihiro Okamoto, Keisuke Aoe, Kazunori Okabe, Yusuke Mimura, Nobukazu Fujimoto, Takumi Kishimoto, Taketo Yamada, C. Wilson Xu, Chikao Morimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is an aggressive and therapy-resistant neoplasm arising from the pleural mesothelial cells and usually associated with long-term asbestos exposure. Recent studies suggest that tumors contain cancer stem cells (CSCs) and their stem cell characteristics are thought to confer therapy-resistance. However, whether MM cell has any stem cell characteristics is not known. To understand the molecular basis of MM, we first performed serial transplantation of surgical samples into NOD/SCID mice and established new cell lines. Next, we performed marker analysis of the MM cell lines and found that many of them contain SP cells and expressed several putative CSC markers such as CD9, CD24, and CD26. Interestingly, expression of CD26 closely correlated with that of CD24 in some cases. Sorting and culture assay revealed that SP and CD24+ cells proliferated by asymmetric cell division-like manner. In addition, CD9+ and CD24+ cells have higher potential to generate spheroid colony than negative cells in the stem cell medium. Moreover, these marker-positive cells have clear tendency to generate larger tumors in mouse transplantation assay. Taken together, our data suggest that SP, CD9, CD24, and CD26 are CSC markers of MM and could be used as novel therapeutic targets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-742
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan 14
Externally publishedYes


  • CD24
  • CD26
  • CD9
  • Cancer stem cells
  • Malignant mesothelioma
  • Side population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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