Papillary thyroid cancer tumor spheres cultured by passaging without sorting exhibit cancer stemness

Jun Min Cho, Hyun Jeong Lee, Jai Hyun Chung, Woo Young Kim, Myoung Hee Kang, Kee Soo Ha, Sang Uk Woo, Jae Bok Lee

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Aim: Cancer stem-like cell (CSC) markers and the role of CSCs derived from papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) in pathogenesis are unclear. This study aimed to investigate CSC properties using tumor spheres from passaged PTC cells but without sorting CSCs. Materials and Methods: To identify the properties of CSCs derived from PTC, the expression of SRY-box transcription factor 2(SOX2), octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (OCT4), Nanog homeobox (NANOG), thyroglobulin (TG), thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR), E-cadherin, YES-associated protein 1 (YAP1), and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) was investigated in tumor spheres serially passaged without sorting CSCs. Results: The cultured tumor spheres had cancer stemness; high expression of OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, and YAP1; low expression of E-cadherin; and varied expression of TG, TSHR, and STAT3. PTC tumor spheres transfected with small interfering RNA targeting YAP1 had fewer CSC properties than the non-transfected tumor spheres did. Conclusion: Tumor spheres derived from PTC cells by passaging without sorting CSCs have more stem-like cell properties, and less differentiation potential. Thus, this simple and cost-effective method can be used for the enrichment of PTC stemness for employment in cell-based models, reducing the need for use of animal models.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3801-3809
    Number of pages9
    JournalAnticancer research
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2020 International Institute of Anticancer Research. All rights reserved.


    • Papillary
    • Thyroid cancer
    • Tumor stem cells

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Oncology
    • Cancer Research


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