CD44 was identified as a cell surface marker for cancer stem cells (CSCs) in various epithelial tumor. However, function-based evidence to support the role of CD44 in CSCs was not known. We found that expression of CD44, in particular variant forms of CD44 (CD44v), suppresses reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels by promoting the synthesis of reduced glutathione(GSH), a primary intracellular antioxidant. CD44v stabilizes xCT, a subunit of a glutamate-cystine transporter, and thereby promotes the uptake of cystine for GSH synthesis. Our findings reveal a novel function for CD44v in protection of CSCs from high levels of ROS in the tumor microenvironment.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Nihon rinsho. Japanese journal of clinical medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 2015 May 1|
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