CD133 has been implicated as a cancer stem cell (CSC) surface marker in several malignancies including pancreatic cancer. However, the functional role of this surface glycoprotein in the cancer stem cell remains elusive. In this study, we determined that CD133 overexpression induced "stemness" properties in MIA-PaCa2 cells along with increased tumorigenicity, tumor progression, and metastasis in vivo. Additionally, CD133 expression induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and increased in vitro invasion. EMT induction and increased invasiveness were mediated by NF-κB activation, as inhibition of NF-κB mitigated these effects. This study showed that CD133 expression contributes to pancreatic cancer "stemness," tumorigenicity, EMT induction, invasion, and metastasis.
- Pancreatic Cancer
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