Genes & Cancer

CD133-positive cancer stem cells from colo205 human colon adenocarcinoma cell line show resistance to chemotherapy and display a specific metabolomic profile

Zangiacomi Vincent1, Kenichi Urakami2, Koji Maruyama3, Ken Yamaguchi1, Masatoshi Kusuhara1

1. Regional Resources Division, Shizuoka Cancer Center Research Institute, Shizuoka, Japan

2. Cancer Diagnostics Research Division, Shizuoka Cancer Center Research Institute, Shizuoka, Japan

3. Experimental Animal Facility, Shizuoka Cancer Center Research Institute, Shizuoka, Japan


Masatoshi Kusuhara, email:

Keywords: cancer stem cells, CD133, metabolomics, adenocarcinoma, CE-TOF-MS

Received: June 16, 2014 Accepted: July 25, 2014 Published: July 27, 2014


During the past decade, cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) have drawn substantial interest in cancer research since they have been described as major targets to improve treatment of tumors and to prevent recurrence and metastasis. In this paper, we report on the search for CSCs within the Colo205 human adenocarcinoma cell line. We describe that CD133 (prominin) was the only reliable marker for the isolation and characterization of CSCs within a Colo205 cell population. CD133-positive cells displayed many CSC characteristics, such as tumorsphere formation ability, expression of early-stage development markers, high invasiveness, raised tumor initiation potential and resistance to cisplatin chemotherapy treatment. In vitro analyses also highlighted a specific metabolomic profile of CD133-positive cells and we concluded that the chemotherapy resistance of CSCs could be related to the quiescence of such cells associated with their reduced metabolism. Furthermore, in vivo metabolome analyses suggested that a high level of circulating glutathione molecules could also promote treatment resistance. From the perspective of metabolomics, we also discuss the controversial use of serum-free in vitro cultures for CSC enrichment prior to further phenotype characterization.

PII: 23