CD133/Prominin-1-Mediated Autophagy and Glucose Uptake Beneficial for Hepatoma Cell Survival

Chen, Haiyang; Luo, Zaili; Dong, Liwei; Tan, Yexiong; Yang, Jiamei; Feng, Gensheng; Wu, Mengchao; Li, Zhong; Wang, Hongyang
February 2013
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
CD133/Prominin-1 is a pentaspan transmembrane protein that has been frequently used as a biomarker for cancer stem cells, although its biological function is unclear. The aim of our study was to explore the intrinsic functions of CD133 membrane protein in hepatoma cells during autophagy, apoptosis, tumorigenesis and cell survival through expression or downregulation of CD133. In this study, CD133 was found to be dynamically released from plasma membrane into cytoplasm in both of complete medium(CM) and low glucose medium (LGM), and LGM promoted this translocation. Expression of CD133 enhanced autophagic activity in LGM, while silencing CD133 attenuated this activity in HCC LM3 and Huh-7 cells, suggesting that CD133 is associated with autophagy. Immunofluorescence and time-lapsed confocal techniques confirmed that CD133 was associated with autophagy marker, microtubule-associated protein light chain3 (LC3) and lysosome marker during the glucose starvation. We further found that Huh-7 cells with stable expression of shCD133 (Huh-7sh133) impaired the ability of cell proliferation and formation of xenograft tumors in the NOD/SCID mice. Although loss of CD133 did not affect the rates of glucose uptake in Huh-7con and Huh-7sh133 cells under the CM, Huh-7sh133 cells obviously died fast than Huh-7con cells in the LGM and decreased the rate of glucose uptake and ATP production. Furthermore, targeting CD133 by CD133mAb resulted in cell death in HepG2 cells, especially in the LGM, via inhibition of autophagic activity and increase of apoptosis. The results demonstrated that CD133 is involved in cell survival through regulation of autophagy and glucose uptake, which may be necessary for cancer stem cells to survive in tumor microenvironment.


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