11 2019 Proteomics

Transcriptomic Analysis of Breast Cancer Stem Cells and Development of a pALDH1A1:mNeptune Reporter System for Live Tracking.


Bidan N, Bailleul-Dubois J, Duval J, Winter M, Denoulet M, Hannebicque K, El-Sayed IY, Ginestier C, Forissier V, Charafe-Jauffret E, Macario M, Matsunaga YT, Meignan S, Anquez F, Julien S, Bonnefond A, Derhourhi M, Le Bourhis X, Lagadec C


Many solid cancers are hierarchically organized with a small number of cancer stem cells (CSCs) able to regrow a tumor, while their progeny lacks this feature. Breast CSC is known to contribute to therapy resistance. The study of those cells is usually based on their cell-surface markers like CD44 /CD24 or their aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity. However, these markers cannot be used to track the dynamics of CSC. Here, a transcriptomic analysis is performed to identify segregating gene expression in CSCs and non-CSCs, sorted by Aldefluor assay. It is observed that among ALDH-associated genes, only ALDH1A1 isoform is increased in CSCs. A CSC reporter system is then developed by using a far red-fluorescent protein (mNeptune) under the control of ALDH1A1 promoter. mNeptune-positive cells exhibit higher sphere-forming capacity, tumor formation, and increased resistance to anticancer therapies. These results indicate that the reporter identifies cells with stemness characteristics. Moreover, live tracking of cells in a microfluidic system reveals a higher extravasation potential of CSCs. Live tracking of non-CSCs under irradiation treatment show, for the first time, live reprogramming of non-CSCs into CSCs. Therefore, the reporter will allow for cell tracking to better understand the implication of CSCs in breast cancer development and recurrence.

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