Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) have been involved in metastatic progression and tumorigenesis of many cancer types. However, it remains unclear how BMP-2 contributes to the initiation and development of these cancers. Here, we investigated the role of BMP-2 in colon cancer stem cell (CSC) development from colon cancer cells. We also determined the effects of BMP-2 on CSC development and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in human colon cancer cell lines HCT-116 and SW620. We found that BMP-2 enhanced sphere formation of colon cancer cells without serum. Also, BMP-2-induced spheres displayed up-regulation of stemness markers (CD133+ and EpCAM+) and increased drug resistance, hallmarks of CSCs. Importantly, expression of EMT activators p-Smad1/5 and Snail and N-cadherin was increased in the spheres’ cells, indicating that BMP-2 signaling might result in CSC self-renewal and EMT. Furthermore, siRNA-mediated knockdown of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) in HCT-116 cells reversed BMP-2-induced EMT and stem cell formation. Taken together, our results suggest that the BMP-2 induced STAT3-mediated induction of colon cancer cell metastasis requires an EMT and/or changes in CSC markers.
- Bone morphogenetic proteins
- Cancer stem cells
- Colon cancer
- Epithelial-mesenchymal transition
- Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research