Go to page

Bibliographic Metadata

 The document is publicly available on the WWW.

Cancer stem cells (CSC) are crucial mediators of cancer relapse. Here, we isolated two primary human colorectal cancer cell lines derived from a rectal neuroendocrine carcinoma (BKZ-2) and a colorectal adenocarcinoma (BKZ-3), both containing subpopulations with potential stem-like properties. Protein expression of CSC-markers prominin-1 and CD44 antigen was significantly higher for BKZ-2 and BKZ-3 in comparison to well-established colon carcinoma cell lines. High sphere-formation capacity further confirmed the existence of a subpopulation with potential stem-like phenotype. Epithelial–mesenchymal transition markers as well as immune checkpoint ligands were expressed more pronounced in BKZ-2. Both cell populations demonstrated N-myc proto-oncogene (NMYC) copy number gain. Myc proto-oncogene (MYC)/NMYC activity inhibitor all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) significantly reduced the number of tumor spheres for both and the volume of BKZ-2 spheres. In contrast, the sphere volume of ATRA-treated BKZ-3 was increased, and only BKZ-2 cell proliferation was reduced in monolayer culture. Treatment with KJ-Pyr-9, a specific inhibitor of MYC/NMYC-myc-associated factor X interaction, decreased survival by the induction of apoptosis of both. In summary, here, we present the novel colorectal cancer cell lines BKZ-2 and BKZ-3 as promising cellular in vitro models for colorectal carcinomas and identify the MYC/NMYC molecular pathway involved in CSC-induced carcinogenesis with relevant therapeutic potential.