Isolation and characterization of squamous cell carcinoma-derived stem-like cells: Role in tumor formation

Katiuscia Dallaglio, Tiziana Petrachi, Alessandra Marconi, Francesca Truzzi, Roberta Lotti, Annalisa Saltari, Paolo Morandi, Mario Puviani, Antonino Maiorana, Dennis R. Roop, Carlo Pincelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In human epidermis, keratinocyte stem cells (KSC) are characterized by high levels of β1-integrin, resulting in the rapid adhesion to type IV collagen. Since epithelial tumors originate from KSC, we evaluated the features of rapidly adhering (RAD) keratinocytes derived from primary human squamous cell carcinoma of the skin (cSCC). RAD cells expressed higher levels of survivin, a KSC marker, as compared to non-rapidly adhering (NRAD) cells. Moreover, RAD cells proliferated to a greater extent and were more efficient in forming colonies than NRAD cells. RAD cells also migrated significantly better than NRAD cells. When seeded in a silicone chamber and grafted onto the back skin of NOD SCID mice, RAD cells formed tumors 2-4 fold bigger than those derived from NRAD cells. In tumors derived from RAD cells, the mitotic index was significantly higher than in those derived from NRAD cells, while Ki-67 and survivin expression were more pronounced in RAD tumors. This study suggests that SCC RAD stem cells play a critical role in the formation and development of epithelial tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19540-19555
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Sep 26 2013


  • β-integrin
  • Differentiation
  • Rapidly adhering cells
  • Skin
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Stem cells
  • Survivin
  • Tumor formation
  • Tumorigenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Molecular Biology
  • Catalysis
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Isolation and characterization of squamous cell carcinoma-derived stem-like cells: Role in tumor formation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this