The low-affinity nerve growth factor receptor p75 is a stratified epithelial stem/progenitor marker of human epithelia. We found OM-1, a human squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) cell line, showed distinct cells with p75 cluster, especially located at the center of a growing colony in a monolayer culture. A cell with p75 cluster was surrounded by cytokeratin 14- and cytokeratin 13-expressing cells that settled at the outer margin of the colony. OM-1 cells were also capable of forming tumor spheres in a cell suspension culture, an ability which was attenuated by the inhibition of p75-signaling. Intriguingly, we also found a p75-negative cell population from a growing culture of OM-1 that re-committed to become p75-clustering cells. These results indicated the possibility that SCC with epithelial multi-layering capacity can exploit the p75-dependent stratified epithelial progenitor property for the cancer stemness.
- Cancer stem cell (CSC)
- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)