Fusion with stem cell makes the hepatocellular carcinoma cells similar to liver tumor-initiating cells.

Cell fusion is a fast and highly efficient technique for cells to acquire new properties. The fusion of somatic cells with stem cells can reprogram somatic cells to a pluripotent state. Our research on the fusion of stem cells and cancer cells demonstrates that the fused cells can exhibit stemness and cancer cell-like characteristics. Thus, tumor-initiating cell-like cells are generated.

We employed laser-induced single-cell fusion technique to fuse the hepatocellular carcinoma cells and human embryonic stem cells (hESC). Real-time RT-PCR, flow cytometry and in vivo tumorigenicity assay were adopted to identify the gene expression difference.

We successfully produced a fused cell line that coalesces the gene expression information of hepatocellular carcinoma cells and stem cells. Experimental results showed that the fused cells expressed cancer and stemness markers as well as exhibited increased resistance to drug treatment and enhanced tumorigenesis.

Fusion with stem cells transforms liver cancer cells into tumor initiating-like cells. Results indicate that fusion between cancer cell and stem cell may generate tumor initiating-like cells.

BMC cancer. 2016 Feb 04*** epublish ***

Ran Wang, Shuxun Chen, Changxian Li, Kevin Tak Pan Ng, Chi-wing Kong, Jinping Cheng, Shuk Han Cheng, Ronald A Li, Chung Mau Lo, Kwan Man, Dong Sun

Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.., Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.., Department of Surgery, Li Ka-Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.., Department of Surgery, Li Ka-Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.., Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Consortium, and Departments of Medicine and Physiology, Li Ka-Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.., Environmental Science Program, School of Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.., Department of Biomedical Science, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.., Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Consortium, and Departments of Medicine and Physiology, Li Ka-Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.., Department of Surgery, Li Ka-Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.., Department of Surgery, Li Ka-Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.., Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..