Tumor-initiating cells with stem cell properties are believed to sustain the growth of gliomas, but proposed markers such as CD133 cannot be used to identify these cells with sufficient specificity. We report an alternative isolation method purely based on phenotypic qualities of glioma-initiating cells (GICs), avoiding the use of molecular markers. We exploited intrinsic autofluorescence properties and a distinctive morphology to isolate a subpopulation of cells (FL1+) from human glioma or glioma cultures. FL1+ cells are capable of self-renewal in vitro, tumorigenesis in vivo and preferentially express stem cell genes. The FL1+ phenotype did not correlate with the expression of proposed GIC markers. Our data propose an alternative approach to investigate tumor-initiating potential in gliomas and to advance the development of new therapies and diagnostics.
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This work was supported by the foundations “Anita et Werner Damm-Etienne” and “Ernest and Lucie Schmidheiny” and in part by the Centre d'Imagerie Biomedicale of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the University of Lausanne, the University of Geneva and by the Leenaards and Jeantet foundations, as well as by Marie Curie action of the European Union (MRTN-CT-2006-035801) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (3100AO-108266/1). We thank K. Burkhardt for providing access to tissue sample collection and S.G. Clarkson for critical input.
V.C. and I.R. are authors of a patent (PCT/IB2008/054872) related to the technology described in this article and filed by the University of Geneva and Geneva University Hospitals. V.C., I.R. and D.M. are founders and shareholders of Stemergie Biotechnology, Inc.
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Clément, V., Marino, D., Cudalbu, C. et al. Retracted: Marker-independent identification of glioma-initiating cells. Nat Methods 7, 224–228 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1038/nmeth.1430
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