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Supplementary Material for: Hypoxia Induces Tumor Aggressiveness and the Expansion of CD133-Positive Cells in a Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1α-Dependent Manner in Pancreatic Cancer Cells

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posted on 19.07.2011, 00:00 by Hashimoto O., Shimizu K., Semba S., Chiba S., Ku Y., Yokozaki H., Hori Y.
Background: Intratumoral hypoxia is known to lead to increased aggressiveness and distant metastasis. However, the interplay underlying these actions is still unknown. Objective: We explored whether cancer cells might acquire a stem-like phenotype under hypoxia, consequently leading to an aggressive phenotype, including invasiveness and metastasis. Methods: Under normoxia (20% O2) or hypoxia (1% O2), the expression of CD133 (cancer stem cell marker), CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) and hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) was examined by RT-PCR and immunostaining using human pancreatic cancer cell lines. We also examined if hypoxia facilitates the invasiveness of CD133+ cancer cells. Furthermore, we transfected dominant active HIF-1α (HIF-1αΔODD) by the retroviral gene transfer and examined the effects both in vitro and in vivo. Results: Compared with normoxia, hypoxia elevated the expression of CD133, CXCR4 and HIF-1α. Moreover, hypoxia facilitated the invasiveness of CD133+ pancreatic cancer cells. The behavior of HIF-1αΔODD-transfected cells under normoxia was compatible with that of the parent cells under hypoxia. Furthermore, a xenograft model of HIF-1αΔODD cells showed aggressiveness, including metastasis and highly tumorigenic ability. Conclusion: Hypoxia induces tumor aggressiveness associated with the expansion of CD133+ pancreatic cancer cells in a predominantly HIF-1α-dependent manner.

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