Characteristics of CD133+ human colon cancer SW620 cells

Hironobu Kawamoto, Takeshi Yuasa, Yasuhiro Kubota, Masayuki Seita, Hiromi Sasamoto, Javed M. Shahid, Takahiro Hayashi, Hiroyuki Nakahara, Reham Hassan, Masaya Iwamuro, Eisaku Kondo, Shuhei Nakaji, Noriaki Tanaka, Naoya Kobayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Worldwide, colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer affecting both sexes. It has been proposed that a small subset of cancer cells (cancer stem cells) within each tumor is able to initiate tumor growth. In 2007, two research groups simultaneously identified a colon cancer stem cell population in human tumors by the use of CD133 expression. In the present study, we used a human colon cancer cell line, SW620, to analyze the cancer stem cell-like characteristics of CD133+ cells in vitro and in vivo. In vitro, CD133+ SW620 cells had a higher proliferative capacity, were more irradiation- and chemotherapy-resistant, and had a higher expression of β-catenin compared with CD133- cells. Injections of either CD133+ or CD133- cells into the skin or rectal mucosa of NOD/SCID mice led to tumors; however, injection of CD133+ cells resulted in the formation of larger tumors. Tumors derived from injections of CD133- cells did not contain any CD133+ cells, whereas tumors derived from injections of CD133+ cells did contain CD133 + cells, suggesting self-renewing capability. However, the proportion of CD133+ cells in the newly formed tumors in vivo was lower than the proportion of CD133+ cells in vitro. In conclusion, the human colon cancer cell line, SW620, contains both CD133+ and CD133 - phenotypes, and the CD133+ phenotype has characteristics consistent with those of cancer stem cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)857-864
Number of pages8
JournalCell Transplantation
Issue number6-7
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • CD133
  • Colon cancer
  • Tumorigenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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