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Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition leads to loss of EpCAM and different physical properties in circulating tumor cells from metastatic breast cancer

 Kyung-A Hyun  ;  Gi-Bang Koo  ;  Hyunju Han  ;  Joohyuk Sohn  ;  Wonshik Choi  ;  Seung-Il Kim  ;  Hyo-Il Jung  ;  You-Sun Kim 
 ONCOTARGET , Vol.7(17) : 24677-24687, 2016 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Breast Neoplasms/genetics ; Breast Neoplasms/metabolism* ; Breast Neoplasms/pathology ; Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule/genetics ; Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule/metabolism* ; Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition ; Female ; Humans ; MCF-7 Cells ; Neoplasm Metastasis ; Neoplastic Cells, Circulating/metabolism* ; Neoplastic Cells, Circulating/pathology
EMT-induced breast cancer cell ; EpCAM-negative ; circulating tumor cells (CTCs) ; epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) ; label-free separation
The dissemination of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) requires the Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal transition (EMT), in which cells lose their epithelial characteristics and acquire more mesenchymal-like phenotypes. Current isolation of CTCs relies on affinity-based approaches reliant on the expression of Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule (EpCAM). Here we show EMT-induced breast cancer cells maintained in prolonged mammosphere culture conditions possess increased EMT markers and cancer stem cell markers, as well as reduced cell mass and size by quantitative phase microscopy; however, EpCAM expression is dramatically decreased in these cells. Moreover, CTCs isolated from breast cancer patients using a label-free microfluidic flow fractionation device had differing expression patterns of EpCAM, indicating that affinity approaches reliant on EpCAM expression may underestimate CTC number and potentially miss critical subpopulations. Further characterization of CTCs, including low-EpCAM populations, using this technology may improve detection techniques and cancer diagnosis, ultimately improving cancer treatment.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Surgery (외과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Internal Medicine (내과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Seung Il(김승일)
Sohn, Joo Hyuk(손주혁) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2303-2764
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