Several studies have shown that cancer niche can perform an active role in the regulation of tumor cell maintenance and progression through extracellular vesicles-based intercellular communication. However, it has not been reported whether this vesicle-mediated communication affects the malignant transformation of normal stem cells/progenitors. We have previously reported that the conditioned medium derived from the mouse Lewis Lung Carcinoma (LLC) cell line can convert mouse induced pluripotent stem cells (miPSCs) into cancer stem cells (CSCs), indicating that normal stem cells when placed in an aberrant microenvironment can give rise to functionally active CSCs. Here, we focused on the contribution of tumor-derived extracellular vesicles (tEVs) that are secreted from LLC cells to induce the transformation of miPSCs into CSCs. We isolated tEVs from the conditioned medium of LLC cells, and then the differentiating miPSCs were exposed to tEVs for 4 weeks. The resultant tEV treated cells (miPS-LLCev) expressed Nanog and Oct3/4 proteins comparable to miPSCs. The frequency of sphere formation of the miPS-LLCev cells in suspension culture indicated that the self-renewal capacity of the miPS-LLCev cells was significant. When the miPS-LLCev cells were subcutaneously transplanted into Balb/c nude mice, malignant liposarcomas with extensive angiogenesis developed. miPS-LLCevPT and miPS-LLCevDT, the cells established from primary site and disseminated liposarcomas, respectively, showed their capacities to self-renew and differentiate into adipocytes and endothelial cells. Moreover, we confirmed the secondary liposarcoma development when these cells were transplanted. Taken together, these results indicate that miPS-LLCev cells possess CSC properties. Thus, our current study provides the first evidence that tEVs have the potential to induce CSC properties in normal tissue stem cells/progenitors.
- Cancer stem cells
- Cancerous niche
- Extracellular vesicles
- Mouse induced pluripotent stem cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas