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Open Access Using Self-Assembled Nanomaterials to Inhibit the Formation of Metastatic Cancer Stem Cell Colonies In Vitro

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The isolation of cells with stem-like properties from prostate tumors suggests the presence of a cancer stem cell (CSC) population, which may account for the initiation, progression, and metastasis as well as drug resistance of the disease. We hypothesized that containing, or at least immobilizing, the CSCs in a nano-self-assembling material might help prevent prostate tumor progression or metastasis. CSCs were plated in three conditions: 1) placed in 1% concentration self-assembled peptide (SAP) preequilibrate with culture medium; 2) placed in 3% concentration SAP preequilibrate with culture medium; and 3) in nonadherent culture. All were grown for 14 days, after which the cells in both 1% and 3% concentrations were washed out of the SAP and grown for an additional 14 days. Here we report that CSCs from prostate cancer cell lines remained quiescent for more than 28 days when embedded in SAP. When the prostate CSCs were embedded in 1% and 3% SAP, most of the CSCs remained single cells 14 days after plating in a nonadherent plate; no prostaspheres could be detected 14 days after plating, suggesting that self-renewal was significantly suppressed. In the controls, prostate CSCs began to divide 1 day after plating in a nonadherent plate and prostaspheres were visible at day 10, indicating the active self-renewal property of the prostate CSCs. Our findings suggest that SAP can completely inhibit a prostate CSC from self-renewal while preserving its viability and CSC property. Therefore, SAP may be an effective nanomaterial for inhibiting cancer progression and metastasis to stop the progression during treatment and removal.

Keywords: Nanomedicine; Prostate cancer; Self-assembling peptide; Stem cell

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Anatomy, Lika Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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