Biological characteristics of a cell subpopulation in tongue squamous cell carcinoma

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To isolate the CD133+CD44+ cells from human tongue squamous cell carcinoma (TSCC) Tca8113 cell line and investigate biological characteristics of them.

Materials and methods:

Immunomagnetic microbeads were applied to sort the CD133+CD44+ cells. Flow cytometry was used to detect isolation purity. The proliferation, clone-formation efficiencies, invasion and migration, gene expressions, and tumor-formation abilities were analyzed among CD133+CD44+, CD133−CD44−, and total population of cells.


The average purities of CD133+ and CD44+ cells reached 97.3% and 98.7%, respectively. The proliferation of CD133+CD44+ cells was significantly higher than the other two groups. The clone-forming efficiency of three groups was 70%, 8%, and 14%, respectively. The average invaded and migrated cell numbers of CD133+CD44+ and total population cells were 132 and 36.2, 311.6, and 156.2, respectively. The expressions of Bcl-2 and Sox2 in CD133+CD44+ cells were significantly higher than those in total population cells. A total of 104CD133+CD44+ cells could form secondary tumors in nude mice, while the total population group needed 106cells.


The CD133+CD44+ subpopulation cells possess stem-like characteristics. They appear to be the potential targets for future biology therapy of human TSCC.


Oral Diseases (2012) 18, 169–177

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