Epithelial-mesenchymal transition and mesenchymal-epithelial transition are essential for the acquisition of stem cell properties in hTERT-immortalised oral epithelial cells

Qiao, B., Gopalan, V., Chen, Z., Smith, Robert A., Tao, Q., & Lam, A. K. (2012) Epithelial-mesenchymal transition and mesenchymal-epithelial transition are essential for the acquisition of stem cell properties in hTERT-immortalised oral epithelial cells. Biology of the cell, 104(8), pp. 476-489.

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Evidence has shown that mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) are linked to stem cell properties. We currently lack a model showing how the occurrence of MET and EMT in immortalised cells influences the maintenance of stem cell properties. Thus, we established a project aiming to investigate the roles of EMT and MET in the acquisition of stem cell properties in immortalised oral epithelial cells.

RESULTS: In this study, a retroviral transfection vector (pLXSN-hTERT) was used to immortalise oral epithelial cells by insertion of the hTERT gene (hTERT(+)-oral mucosal epithelial cell line [OME]). The protein and RNA expression of EMT transcriptional factors (Snail, Slug and Twist), their downstream markers (E-cadherin and N-cadherin) and embryonic stem cell markers (OCT4, Nanog and Sox2) were studied by reverse transcription PCR and Western blots in these cells. Some EMT markers were detected at both mRNA and protein levels. Adipocytes and bone cells were noted in the multi-differentiation assay, showing that the immortal cells underwent EMT. The differentiation assay for hTERT(+)-OME cells revealed the recovery of epithelial phenotypes, implicating the presence of MET. The stem cell properties were confirmed by the detection of appropriate markers. Altered expression of alpha-tubulin and gamma-tubulin in both two-dimensional-cultured (without serum) and three-dimensional-cultured hTERT(+)-OME spheroids indicated the re-programming of cytoskeleton proteins which is attributed to MET processes in hTERT(+)-OME cells. CONCLUSIONS: EMT and MET are essential for hTERT-immortalised cells to maintain their epithelial stem cell properties.

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7 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 74546
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Adipocytes/cytology/metabolism, Bone and Bones/cytology/metabolism, Cell Differentiation, Cell Line, Cytoskeletal Proteins/analysis/metabolism, Epithelial Cells/cytology/metabolism, Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition, Humans, Mouth Mucosa/cytology/metabolism, Stem Cells/cytology/metabolism, Telomerase/genetics/metabolism
DOI: 10.1111/boc.201100077
ISSN: 1768-322X (online) 0248-4900 (print)
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > ONCOLOGY AND CARCINOGENESIS (111200) > Cancer Genetics (111203)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Biomedical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. and Soc¸ ie´ te´ Franc¸ aise des Microscopies and Soc¸ ie´ te´ de Biologie Cellulaire de France
Deposited On: 30 Jul 2014 04:00
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2014 22:48

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