Clonogenicity: Holoclones and Meroclones Contain Stem Cells

Charlotte M. Beaver, Aamir Ahmed, John R. Masters

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58 Citations (Scopus)
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When primary cultures of normal cells are cloned, three types of colony grow, called holoclones, meroclones and paraclones. These colonies are believed to be derived from stem cells, transit-amplifying cells and differentiated cells respectively. More recently, this approach has been extended to cancer cell lines. However, we observed that meroclones from the prostate cancer cell line DU145 produce holoclones, a paradoxical observation as meroclones are thought to be derived from transit-amplifying cells. The purpose of this study was to confirm this observation and determine if both holoclones and meroclones from cancer cell lines contain stem cells. We demonstrated that both holoclones and meroclones can be serially passaged indefinitely, are highly proliferative, can self-renew to form spheres, are serially tumorigenic and express stem cell markers. This study demonstrates that the major difference between holoclones and meroclones derived from a cancer cell line is the proportion of stem cells within each colony, not the presence or absence of stem cells. These findings may reflect the properties of cancer as opposed to normal cells, perhaps indicating that the hierarchy of stem cells is more extensive in cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere89834
JournalPL o S One
Issue number2
Early online date26 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2014


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