Different pancreatic cancer microenvironments convert iPSCs into cancer stem cells exhibiting distinct plasticity with altered gene expression of metabolic pathways

Ghmkin Hassan, Toshiaki Ohara, Said M. Afify, Kazuki Kumon, Maram H. Zahra, Xiaoying Fu, Mohamad Al Kadi, Akimasa Seno, David S. Salomon, Masaharu Seno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are generated under irregular microenvironment in vivo, of which mimic is quite difficult due to the lack of enough information of the factors responsible for cancer initiation. Here, we demonstrated that mouse induced pluripotent cells (miPSCs) reprogrammed from normal embryonic fibroblasts were susceptible to the microenvironment affected by cancer cells to convert into CSCs in vivo. Methods: Three different pancreatic cancer line cells, BxPC3, PANC1, and PK8 cells were mixed with miPSCs and subcutaneously injected into immunodeficient mice. Tumors were evaluated by histological analysis and cells derived from iPSCs were isolated and selected from tumors. The isolated cells were characterized for cancer stem cell characters in vitro and in vivo as well as their responses to anticancer drugs. The impact of co-injection of iPSCs with cancer cells on transcriptome and signaling pathways of iPSCs was investigated. Results: The injection of miPSCs mixed with human pancreatic cancer cells into immunodeficient mice maintained the stemness of miPSCs and changed their phenotype. The miPSCs acquired CSC characteristics of tumorigenicity and self-renewal. The drug responses and the metastatic ability of CSCs converted from miPSCs varied depending on the microenvironment of cancer cells. Interestingly, transcriptome profiles of these cells indicated that the pathways related with aggressiveness and energy production were upregulated from the levels of miPSCs. Conclusions: Our result suggests that cancer-inducing microenvironment in vivo could rewire the cell signaling and metabolic pathways to convert normal stem cells into CSCs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number29
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Cancer stem cells
  • Conversion
  • iPSCs
  • Pancreatic cancer microenvironments
  • Plasticity
  • Tumorigenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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