Research Papers:

TRAIL-R1 as a novel surface marker for circulating giant cell tumor of bone

Jian-Xiang Liu _, Zhi-Cai Zhang, Zeng-Wu Shao, Fei-Fei Pu, Bai-Chuan Wang, Yu-Kun Zhang, Xian-Lin Zeng, Xiao-Dong Guo, Shu-Hua Yang and Tong-Chuan He

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:50724-50730. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17042

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Jian-Xiang Liu1, Zhi-Cai Zhang1, Zeng-Wu Shao1, Fei-Fei Pu1, Bai-Chuan Wang1, Yu-Kun Zhang1, Xian-Lin Zeng1, Xiao-Dong Guo1, Shu-Hua Yang1 and Tong-Chuan He2

1Department of Orthopedics, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China

2Molecular Oncology Laboratory, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago 60637, IL, USA

Correspondence to:

Jian-Xiang Liu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: circulating tumor cells (CTCs), giant cell tumor of bone (GCT), TRAIL-R1

Received: March 12, 2017     Accepted: March 29, 2017     Published: April 11, 2017


Giant cell tumor of bone (GCT), which frequently occurs in the patients’ spine, is relatively prevalent in Chinese population. A group of GCT invades into vessels and appears to be circulating tumor cells (CTCs) responsible for the distal metastasis of the primary tumor. So far the cell surface markers of GCT have not been determined. In the current study, we aimed to identify a novel CTC marker with higher specificity in GCT. TRAIL-R1+ cells were purified from GCT cell lines. The TRAIL-R1+ cells were compared with total GCT cells for tumor sphere formation, chemo-resistance, tumor formation in nude mice, and frequency of developing distal metastases. We found that TRAIL-R1+ GCT cells appeared to be highly enriched for CTCs in GCT. Compared to total GCT cells, TRAIL-R1+ GCT cells generated significantly more tumor spheres in culture, were higher chemo-resistant, and had a higher frequency of being detected in the circulation after subcutaneous transplantation as well as development of distal metastases. Thus, we conclude that TRAIL-R1+ may be a novel CTC marker in GCT. Selective elimination of TRAIL-R1+ GCT cells may improve the current GCT therapy.

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