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Cancer cell

1B50-1, a mAb raised against recurrent tumor cells, targets liver tumor-initiating cells by binding to the calcium channel α2δ1 subunit.


PMID 23597567

Abstract

The identification and targeted therapy of cells involved in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) recurrence remain challenging. Here, we generated a monoclonal antibody against recurrent HCC, 1B50-1, that bound the isoform 5 of the α2δ1 subunit of voltage-gated calcium channels and identified a subset of tumor-initiating cells (TICs) with stem cell-like properties. A surgical margin with cells detected by 1B50-1 predicted rapid recurrence. Furthermore, 1B50-1 had a therapeutic effect on HCC engraftments by eliminating TICs. Finally, α2δ1 knockdown reduced self-renewal and tumor formation capacities and induced apoptosis of TICs, whereas its overexpression led to enhanced sphere formation, which is regulated by calcium influx. Thus, α2δ1 is a functional liver TIC marker, and its inhibitors may serve as potential anti-HCC drugs.