Adv Clin Exp Med. 2021 Oct 5. doi: 10.17219/acem/140590. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Drug resistance poses a crucial problem in the treatment of prostate cancer. Recent studies have shown that chemotherapy agents may cause cancer cells to acquire stem cell-like properties, resulting in drug resistance and, eventually, treatment failure.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate whether long-term paclitaxel exposure causes an increase in the stem cell-like properties of prostate cancer cells.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Paclitaxel-resistant PC-3 cells were generated from parental PC-3 cells by treating them with increasing concentrations of paclitaxel. The expression levels of the stem cell markers NANOG, C-MYC, CD44, and ABCG2 were evaluated using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). A sphere formation assay was performed to test the potential of the cells to behave as stem cells, and a wound healing assay was carried out to evaluate migration ability of the cells.
RESULTS: The expression levels of C-MYC and NANOG were significantly higher in paclitaxel-resistant PC-3 cells compared to the parental PC-3 cells. However, there was no significant increase in the expression of CD44 or ABCG2. In addition, the sphere-forming capacity and migration ability of resistant PC-3 cells were increased.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of the current study indicate that paclitaxel exposure may increase the stem cell-like properties of PC-3 prostate cancer cells.