Research Papers:

Cord blood stem cells revert glioma stem cell EMT by down regulating transcriptional activation of Sox2 and Twist1

Kiran Kumar Velpula, Venkata Ramesh Dasari, Andrew J. Tsung, Dzung H. Dinh and Jasti S. Rao _

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Oncotarget. 2011; 2:1028-1042. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.367

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Kiran Kumar Velpula1, Venkata Ramesh Dasari1, Andrew J. Tsung2, Dzung H. Dinh2 and Jasti S. Rao1,2

1 Department of Cancer Biology and Pharmacology, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, Peoria, Illinois, USA

2 Department of Neurosurgery, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, Peoria, Illinois, USA

Received: November 28, 2011; Accepted: December 9, 2011; Published: December 18, 2011;

Keywords: Twist1, Sox2, human umbilical cord blood derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUCBSC), glioma stem cells (GSC), human Glioblastoma (hGBM), epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and mesenchymal to epithelial transition (MET)


Jasti S. Rao, Ph.D, email:


The dynamic nature of cancer stem cells that underlie metastasis or their ability to switch between different cellular identities, as in EMT and MET, has profound implications for cancer therapy. The functional relationship between molecules involved in cancer cell stemness and metastasis is not clear. In this regard, our studies on hGBM tissue grade IV specimens showed significant expression of Twist1 and Sox2, known mesenchymal and stemness related markers, respectively, indicating their association with glial tumor genesis and metastasis. The glioma stem cells obtained from CD133+ cells demonstrated increased expression of Twist1 and Sox2 accompanied by significant increase in the mesenchymal markers such as N-cadherin, vimentin and β-catenin. Our studies on glioma stem cells treatment with human umbilical cord blood derived- mesenchymal stem cells, showed down regulation of Twist1 and Sox2 proteins, apart from other mesenchymal stem cell markers. Based on the in vitro experiments and in vivo intracranial xenograft mouse model studies, we elucidated the potential therapeutic role of hUCBSC in suppressing glioma cancer stemness by the induction of MET.

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