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Oncotarget

Oct-4 and Nanog promote the epithelial-mesenchymal transition of breast cancer stem cells and are associated with poor prognosis in breast cancer patients.


PMID 25301732

Abstract

Oct-4 and Nanog in regulating the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and metastasis of breast cancer has not been clarified. We found that both Oct-4 and Nanog expression were significantly associated with tumor pathology and poor prognosis in 126 breast cancer patients. Characterization of CD44+CD24-Cancer stem cell(CSC) derived from breast cancer cells indicated that CSC rapidly formed mammospheres and had potent tumorigenicity in vivo. Furthermore, TGF-β up-regulated the expression of Oct-4, Nanog, N-cadherin, vimentin, Slug, and Snail, but down-regulated E-cadherin and cytokeratin 18 expression, demonstrating that CSC underwent EMT. Knockdown of both Oct-4 and Nanog expression inhibited spontaneous changes in the expression of EMT-related genes, while induction of both Oct-4 and Nanog over-expression enhanced spontaneous changes in the expression of EMT-related genes in CSC. However, perturbing alternation of Oct-4 and Nanog expression also modulated TGF-β-induced EMT-related gene expression in CSC. Induction of Oct-4 and Nanog over-expression enhanced the invasiveness of CSC, but knockdown of both Oct-4 and Nanog inhibited the migration of CSC in vitro. Our data suggest that both Oct-4 and Nanog may serve as biomarkers for evaluating breast cancer prognosis. Our findings indicate that Oct-4 and Nanog positively regulate the EMT process, contributing to breast cancer metastasis.