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TitleThe basal epithelial marker P-cadherin associates with breast cancer cell populations harboring a glycolytic and acid-resistant phenotype
Author(s)Sousa, Bárbara
Ribeiro, Ana Sofia
Nobre, Ana Rita
Lopes, Nair
Martins, Diana
Pinheiro, Céline
Vieira, André Filipe
Albergaria, André
Gerhard, René
Schmitt, Fernando
Baltazar, Fátima
Paredes, Joana
Breast cancer
Cancer stem cells
Issue dateOct-2014
PublisherBioMed Central
JournalBMC Cancer
Abstract(s)BACKGROUND: Cancer stem cells are hypoxia-resistant and present a preponderant glycolytic metabolism. These characteristics are also found in basal-like breast carcinomas (BLBC), which show increased expression of cancer stem cell markers.Recently, we demonstrated that P-cadherin, a biomarker of BLBC and a poor prognostic factor in this disease, mediates stem-like properties and resistance to radiation therapy. Thus, the aim of the present study was to evaluate if P-cadherin expression was associated to breast cancer cell populations with an adapted phenotype to hypoxia. METHODS: Immunohistochemistry was performed to address the expression of P-cadherin, hypoxic, glycolytic and acid-resistance biomarkers in primary human breast carcinomas. In vitro studies were performed using basal-like breast cancer cell lines. qRT-PCR, FACS analysis, western blotting and confocal microscopy were used to assess the expression of P-cadherin after HIF-1a stabilization, achieved by CoCl2 treatment. siRNA-mediated knockdown was used to silence the expression of several targets and qRT-PCR was employed to evaluate the effects of P-cadherin on HIF-1a signaling. P-cadherin high and low breast cancer cell populations were sorted by FACS and levels of GLUT1 and CAIX were assessed by FACS and western blotting. Mammosphere forming efficiency was used to determine the stem cell activity after specific siRNA-mediated knockdown, further confirmed by western blotting. RESULTS: We demonstrated that P-cadherin overexpression was significantly associated with the expression of HIF-1a, GLUT1, CAIX, MCT1 and CD147 in human breast carcinomas. In vitro, we showed that HIF-1a stabilization was accompanied by increased membrane expression of P-cadherin and that P-cadherin silencing led to a decrease of the mRNA levels of GLUT1 and CAIX. We also found that the cell fractions harboring high levels of P-cadherin were the same exhibiting more GLUT1 and CAIX expression. Finally, we showed that P-cadherin silencing significantly decreases the mammosphere forming efficiency in the same range as the silencing of HIF-1a, CAIX or GLUT1, validating that all these markers are being expressed by the same breast cancer stem cell population. CONCLUSIONS: Our results establish a link between aberrant P-cadherin expression and hypoxic, glycolytic and acid-resistant breast cancer cells, suggesting a possible role for this marker in cancer cell metabolismo.
Description"BMC Cancer 2014 14:734"
Publisher version
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:ICVS - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais com Referee

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