Volume 5 Issue 1
Jun.  2021
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Article Contents
Andres Stucky, Li Gao, Lan Sun, Shengwen Calvin Li, Xuelian Chen, Tiffany H. Park, Jin Cai, Mustafa H. Kabeer, Xi Zhang, Uttam K. Sinha, Jiang F. Zhong. Evidence for AJUBA-catenin-CDH4-linked differentiation resistance of mesenchymal stem cells implies tumorigenesis and progression of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: a single-cell transcriptome approach[J]. Blood&Genomics, 2021, 5(1): 29-39. doi: 10.46701/BG.2021012021106
Citation: Andres Stucky, Li Gao, Lan Sun, Shengwen Calvin Li, Xuelian Chen, Tiffany H. Park, Jin Cai, Mustafa H. Kabeer, Xi Zhang, Uttam K. Sinha, Jiang F. Zhong. Evidence for AJUBA-catenin-CDH4-linked differentiation resistance of mesenchymal stem cells implies tumorigenesis and progression of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: a single-cell transcriptome approach[J]. Blood&Genomics, 2021, 5(1): 29-39. doi: 10.46701/BG.2021012021106

Evidence for AJUBA-catenin-CDH4-linked differentiation resistance of mesenchymal stem cells implies tumorigenesis and progression of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: a single-cell transcriptome approach

doi: 10.46701/BG.2021012021106
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  • Corresponding author: Shengwen Calvin Li, CHOC Children's Research Institute, Orange, CA 92868, USA. E-mail: shengwel@uci.edu; Jiang F. Zhong, Department of Otolaryngology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA. E-mail: jzhong@usc.edu
  • Received Date: 2021-02-26
  • Accepted Date: 2021-05-18
  • Rev Recd Date: 2021-04-25
  • Publish Date: 2021-06-01
  • An increasing number of reports indicate that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) play an essential role in promoting tumorigenesis and progression of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this process remain unclear. Using the MSC model system, this study analyzes the molecular pathway by which differentiation resistant MSCs promote HNSCC. MSCs were cultured in osteogenic differentiation media and harvested on days 12 and 19. Cells were stained for cell differentiation analysis using Alizarin Red. The osteogenesis-resistant MSCs (OR-MSCs) and MSC-differentiation-derived osteoblasts (D-OSTBs) were identified and subjected to the single-cell transcriptome analysis. Gene-specific analyses of these two sub-populations were performed for the patterns of differential expression. A total of 1780 differentially expressed genes were determined to distinguish OR-MSCs significantly from D-OSTB. Notably, AJUBA, β-catenin, and CDH4 expression levels were upregulated considerably within the OR-MSCs compared to D-OSTBs. To confirm their clinical relevance, a survey of a clinical cohort revealed a high correlation among the expression levels of AJUBA, β-catenin and CDH4. The results shed new light that OR-MSCs participate in the development of HNSCC via a pathway mediated by AJUBA, β-catenin, CDH4, and CTNNB1, thereby implying that MSC-based therapy is a promising therapeutic approach in the management of HNSCC.


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