Cancer science

Nestin as a marker of cancer stem cells.

PMID 25940879


The crucial role of cancer stem cells (CSCs) in the pathology of malignant diseases has been extensively studied during the last decade. Nestin, a class VI intermediate filament protein, was originally detected in neural stem cells during development. Its expression has also been reported in different tissues under various pathological conditions. Specifically, nestin has been shown to be expressed in transformed cells of various human malignancies, and a correlation between its expression and the clinical course of some diseases has been proved. Furthermore, the coexpression of nestin with other stem cell markers was described as a CSC phenotype that was subsequently verified using tumorigenicity assays. The primary aim of this review is to summarize the recent findings regarding nestin expression in CSCs, its possible role in CSC phenotypes, particularly with respect to capacity for self-renewal, and its utility as a putative marker of CSCs.