Anticancer research

Correlation of HIWI and HILI Expression with Cancer Stem Cell Markers in Colorectal Cancer.

PMID 26026091


Cancer stem cells (CSCs) constitute a sub-population of tumor cells that possess stem cell properties, such as self-renewal and the ability of differentiation. The presence of CSCs is associated with metastatic potential, treatment resistance and poor patient prognosis. Recently, aberrant expression of P-element induced wimpy testis proteins-PIWI (HIWI and HILI) has been identified in various types of tumors. The aim of the study was to evaluate the clinical significance of the HIWI and HILI expression and its relationship with cancer stem cells markers in 72 patients with colorectal carcinoma (CRC). The expression level of HIWI and HILI and cancer stem cells markers in paired cancerous and non-cancerous tissues was measured by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay. Immunohistochemistry was performed to confirm the observed changes on mRNA level and detect tissue localization of PIWI proteins. Significantly higher mRNA levels of HIWI and decreased HILI mRNA were measured in colorectal cancer tissues compared to corresponding non-cancerous samples. The changes in HIWI mRNA level in cancer tissues were correlated with OCT4 expression. Positive correlations between HILI level and SOX2 were also observed in cancerous tissues. Our results indicate a reciprocal regulation between HIWI, HILI and some CSCs markers in colorectal cancer.