Sox2 is associated with cancer stem-like properties in colorectal cancer

Koki Takeda, Tsunekazu Mizushima, Yuhki Yokoyama, Haruka Hirose, Xin Wu, Yamin Qian, Katsuya Ikehata, Norikatsu Miyoshi, Hidekazu Takahashi, Naotsugu Haraguchi, Taishi Hata, Chu Matsuda, Yuichiro Doki, Masaki Mori, Hirofumi Yamamoto

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71 Citations (Scopus)


Sox2 is known as the undifferentiated cell marker. Recent studies have shown that Sox2 may also be involved in the maintenance of cancer stem cells (CSCs) in skin and bladder cancers. In this study, we aimed to clarify the role of Sox2 in colorectal CSCs. Sox2 expression was measured in colon cancer cells and colorectal clinical samples by qRT-PCR and western blot analysis. To visualize the active Sox2 mRNA production, we generated a Sox2 promoter-dependent DsRed fluorescence emission system. Colon cancer cell lines and colorectal tumor tissues generally expressed the Sox2 protein. Knockdown of Sox2 by siRNA led to increased proliferative activity in Caco2 cells. Kaplan-Meier survival curves showed that the group with high Sox2 mRNA expression had a worse prognosis for relapse-free survival (RFS) than the low expression group (P = 0.045, median follow-up 60.0 months). Time-lapse image analysis revealed that most DsRed+ cells exhibited typical asymmetric cell division and had higher CSC marker expressions. The DsRed+ cells exhibited chemoresistance and they grew slower in vitro, yet they established rather larger tumors in vivo. Our data suggest that Sox2 may be a potential biomarker for colorectal CSCs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17639
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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