Y-box binding protein 2 (YBX2) has been associated with the properties of both germ cells and cancer cells. We hypothesized that YBX2 might contribute to the characteristics of cancer stem cells (CSCs). In this study, we clarified the function of YBX2 in endometrial cancer stem cells. We established a human YBX2-expressing Ishikawa (IK) cell line (IK-YBX2 cells). We analyzed gene expression associated with stemness and isolated SP cells from IK-YBX2 cells. The SP population of IK-YBX2 cells, the expression of ALDH1 and serial sphere-forming capacity were associated with levels of YBX2 expression. IK-YBX2 cells were resistant to anti-cancer drugs. In gene expression analysis, a gene for cancer testis antigen, CT45, was generally overexpressed in IK-YBX2 cells. YBX2-mediated CT45 expression was associated with increased levels of self-renewal capacity and paclitaxel resistance. The level of CT45 expression was enhanced in high-grade and/or advanced stages of human endometrial cancer tissues. We conclude that expression of YBX2 is essential for the stem cell-like phenotype. CT45 contributes to stemness associated with YBX2 and might be related to the progression of endometrial cancer.
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