Mol. Cells 2017; 40(11):
Sox12 Is a Cancer Stem-Like Cell Marker in Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Song Zou1,4, Chen Wang2,4, Jiansheng Liu2, Qun Wang3, Dongdong Zhang3, Shengnan Zhu3,
Shengyuan Xu3, Mafei Kang3, and Shaozhong He3,*
1Department of Interventional Oncology, the People’s Hospital of Ganzhou, Ganzhou 341000, China, 2Department of Oncology,
the People’s Hospital of Ganzhou, Ganzhou 341000, China, 3Department of Oncology, the Affiliated Hospital of Guilin
Medical University, Guilin 541001, China, 4These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received July 7, 2017; Revised August 15, 2017; Accepted August 25, 2017.; Published online November 10, 2017.
© Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology. All rights reserved.

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Recent studies on molecular carcinogenesis suggest that the chemo-resistance of some cancers is largely due to presence of cancer stem cells (CSCs), which affect the chemotherapy outcome for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, currently no consensus on a CSC phenotype in HCC has been obtained. Here, we examined Sox12 as a novel CSC marker in HCC. Sox12+ versus Sox12- cells were purified from HCC cell lines. The Sox12+ cells were compared with Sox12- HCC cells for tumor sphere formation, chemo-resistance, tumor formation after serial adoptive transplantations in nude mice, and the frequency of developing distal metastasis. We found that compared to Sox12- HCC cells, Sox12+ HCC cells generated significantly more tumor spheres in culture, were more chemo-resistant to cisplatin, were detected in circulation more frequently, and formed distal tumor more frequently. Moreover, Sox12 appeared to functionally contribute to the stemness of HCC cells. Thus, we conclude that Sox12 may be a novel marker for enriching CSCs in HCC.
Keywords: cancer stem cells (CSCs), hepatocellular carcinoma
(HCC), Sox12

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31 October 2017 Volume 40,
Number 10, pp. 697~804

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