SOX2 expression is associated with a cancer stem cell state and down-regulation of CDX2 in colorectal cancer
2016 (English)In: BMC Cancer, ISSN 1471-2407, E-ISSN 1471-2407, Vol. 16, 471Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Background: To improve current treatment strategies for patients with aggressive colorectal cancer (CRC), the molecular understanding of subgroups of CRC with poor prognosis is of vast importance. SOX2 positive tumors have been associated with a poor patient outcome, but the functional role of SOX2 in CRC patient prognosis is still unclear. Methods: An in vitro cell culture model expressing SOX2 was used to investigate the functional role of SOX2 in CRC. In vitro findings were verified using RNA from fresh frozen tumor tissue or immunohistochemistry on formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tumor tissue from a cohort of 445 CRC patients. Results: Using our in vitro model, we found that SOX2 expressing cells displayed several characteristics of cancer stem cells; such as a decreased proliferative rate, a spheroid growth pattern, and increased expression of stem cell markers CD24 and CD44. Cells expressing SOX2 also showed down-regulated expression of the intestinal epithelial marker CDX2. We next evaluated CDX2 expression in our patient cohort. CDX2 down-regulation was more often found in right sided tumors of high grade and high stage. Furthermore, a decreased expression of CDX2 was closely linked to MSI, CIMP-high as well as BRAF mutated tumors. A decreased expression of CDX2 was also, in a stepwise manner, strongly correlated to a poor patient prognosis. When looking at SOX2 expression in relation to CDX2, we found that SOX2 expressing tumors more often displayed a down-regulated expression of CDX2. In addition, SOX2 expressing tumors with a down-regulated CDX2 expression had a worse patient prognosis compared to those with retained CDX2 expression. Conclusions: Our results indicate that SOX2 expression induces a cellular stem cell state in human CRC with a decreased expression of CDX2. Furthermore, a down-regulated expression of CDX2 results in a poor patient prognosis in CRC and at least part of the prognostic importance of SOX2 is mediated through CDX2 down-regulation.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 16, 471
SOX2, CDX2, Colorectal cancer, Prognosis, Cancer stem cell
Cell and Molecular Biology Cancer and Oncology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-124507DOI: 10.1186/s12885-016-2509-5ISI: 000380091600001PubMedID: 27411517OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-124507DiVA: diva2:953888