Exogenous marker-engineered mesenchymal stem cells detect cancer and metastases in a simple blood assay

Linan Liu, Shirley X. Zhang, Rangoli Aeran, Wenbin Liao, Mengrou Lu, George Polovin, Egest J. Pone, Weian Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are adult multipotent stem cells that possess regenerative and immunomodulatory properties. They have been widely investigated as therapeutic agents for a variety of disease conditions, including tissue repair, inflammation, autoimmunity, and organ transplantation. Importantly, systemically infused MSCs selectively home to primary and metastatic tumors, though the molecular mechanisms of tumor tropism of MSCs remain incompletely understood. We have exploited the active and selective MSCs homing to cancer microenvironments to develop a rapid and selective blood test for the presence of cancer. Methods: We tested the concept of using transplanted MSCs as the basis for a simple cancer blood test. MSCs were engineered to express humanized Gaussia luciferase (hGluc). In a minimally invasive fashion, hGluc secreted by MSCs into circulation as a reporter for cancer presence, was assayed to probe whether MSCs co-localize with and persist in cancerous tissue. Results: In vitro, hGluc secreted by engineered MSCs was detected stably over a period of days in the presence of serum. In vivo imaging showed that MSCs homed to breast cancer lung metastases and persisted longer in tumor-bearing mice than in tumor-free mice (P < 0.05). hGluc activity in blood of tumor-bearing mice was significantly higher than in their tumor-free counterparts (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Both in vitro and in vivo data show that MSCs expressing hGluc can identify and report small tumors or metastases in a simple blood test format. Our novel and simple stem cell-based blood test can potentially be used to screen, detect, and monitor cancer and metastasis at early stages and during treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number151
JournalStem Cell Research and Therapy
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 21 2015

Fingerprint

Stem cells
Mesenchymal Stromal Cells
Assays
Blood
Neoplasm Metastasis
Tumors
Luciferases
Neoplasms
Hematologic Tests
Bearings (structural)
Multipotent Stem Cells
Adult Stem Cells
Tropism
Tumor Microenvironment
Tissue
Transplantation (surgical)
Organ Transplantation
Autoimmunity
Lung Neoplasms
Stem Cells

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Liu, Linan ; Zhang, Shirley X. ; Aeran, Rangoli ; Liao, Wenbin ; Lu, Mengrou ; Polovin, George ; Pone, Egest J. ; Zhao, Weian. / Exogenous marker-engineered mesenchymal stem cells detect cancer and metastases in a simple blood assay. In: Stem Cell Research and Therapy. 2015 ; Vol. 6, No. 1.
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abstract = "Introduction: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are adult multipotent stem cells that possess regenerative and immunomodulatory properties. They have been widely investigated as therapeutic agents for a variety of disease conditions, including tissue repair, inflammation, autoimmunity, and organ transplantation. Importantly, systemically infused MSCs selectively home to primary and metastatic tumors, though the molecular mechanisms of tumor tropism of MSCs remain incompletely understood. We have exploited the active and selective MSCs homing to cancer microenvironments to develop a rapid and selective blood test for the presence of cancer. Methods: We tested the concept of using transplanted MSCs as the basis for a simple cancer blood test. MSCs were engineered to express humanized Gaussia luciferase (hGluc). In a minimally invasive fashion, hGluc secreted by MSCs into circulation as a reporter for cancer presence, was assayed to probe whether MSCs co-localize with and persist in cancerous tissue. Results: In vitro, hGluc secreted by engineered MSCs was detected stably over a period of days in the presence of serum. In vivo imaging showed that MSCs homed to breast cancer lung metastases and persisted longer in tumor-bearing mice than in tumor-free mice (P < 0.05). hGluc activity in blood of tumor-bearing mice was significantly higher than in their tumor-free counterparts (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Both in vitro and in vivo data show that MSCs expressing hGluc can identify and report small tumors or metastases in a simple blood test format. Our novel and simple stem cell-based blood test can potentially be used to screen, detect, and monitor cancer and metastasis at early stages and during treatment.",
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Exogenous marker-engineered mesenchymal stem cells detect cancer and metastases in a simple blood assay. / Liu, Linan; Zhang, Shirley X.; Aeran, Rangoli; Liao, Wenbin; Lu, Mengrou; Polovin, George; Pone, Egest J.; Zhao, Weian.

In: Stem Cell Research and Therapy, Vol. 6, No. 1, 151, 21.09.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Exogenous marker-engineered mesenchymal stem cells detect cancer and metastases in a simple blood assay

AU - Liu, Linan

AU - Zhang, Shirley X.

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AU - Liao, Wenbin

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AU - Polovin, George

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AU - Zhao, Weian

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N2 - Introduction: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are adult multipotent stem cells that possess regenerative and immunomodulatory properties. They have been widely investigated as therapeutic agents for a variety of disease conditions, including tissue repair, inflammation, autoimmunity, and organ transplantation. Importantly, systemically infused MSCs selectively home to primary and metastatic tumors, though the molecular mechanisms of tumor tropism of MSCs remain incompletely understood. We have exploited the active and selective MSCs homing to cancer microenvironments to develop a rapid and selective blood test for the presence of cancer. Methods: We tested the concept of using transplanted MSCs as the basis for a simple cancer blood test. MSCs were engineered to express humanized Gaussia luciferase (hGluc). In a minimally invasive fashion, hGluc secreted by MSCs into circulation as a reporter for cancer presence, was assayed to probe whether MSCs co-localize with and persist in cancerous tissue. Results: In vitro, hGluc secreted by engineered MSCs was detected stably over a period of days in the presence of serum. In vivo imaging showed that MSCs homed to breast cancer lung metastases and persisted longer in tumor-bearing mice than in tumor-free mice (P < 0.05). hGluc activity in blood of tumor-bearing mice was significantly higher than in their tumor-free counterparts (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Both in vitro and in vivo data show that MSCs expressing hGluc can identify and report small tumors or metastases in a simple blood test format. Our novel and simple stem cell-based blood test can potentially be used to screen, detect, and monitor cancer and metastasis at early stages and during treatment.

AB - Introduction: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are adult multipotent stem cells that possess regenerative and immunomodulatory properties. They have been widely investigated as therapeutic agents for a variety of disease conditions, including tissue repair, inflammation, autoimmunity, and organ transplantation. Importantly, systemically infused MSCs selectively home to primary and metastatic tumors, though the molecular mechanisms of tumor tropism of MSCs remain incompletely understood. We have exploited the active and selective MSCs homing to cancer microenvironments to develop a rapid and selective blood test for the presence of cancer. Methods: We tested the concept of using transplanted MSCs as the basis for a simple cancer blood test. MSCs were engineered to express humanized Gaussia luciferase (hGluc). In a minimally invasive fashion, hGluc secreted by MSCs into circulation as a reporter for cancer presence, was assayed to probe whether MSCs co-localize with and persist in cancerous tissue. Results: In vitro, hGluc secreted by engineered MSCs was detected stably over a period of days in the presence of serum. In vivo imaging showed that MSCs homed to breast cancer lung metastases and persisted longer in tumor-bearing mice than in tumor-free mice (P < 0.05). hGluc activity in blood of tumor-bearing mice was significantly higher than in their tumor-free counterparts (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Both in vitro and in vivo data show that MSCs expressing hGluc can identify and report small tumors or metastases in a simple blood test format. Our novel and simple stem cell-based blood test can potentially be used to screen, detect, and monitor cancer and metastasis at early stages and during treatment.

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