Background: Targeting Cancer Stem-Like Cells (CSLCs) can provide promising new therapeutic strategies to inhibit cancer progression, metastasis and recurrence. Salinomycin (Sal), an antibacterial ionophore, has been shown to inhibit CSCs specifically. Recently, it has been reported that Sal can destabilize TAZ, the hypo pathway transducer in CSLCs.
Objectives: Here, in the current study, we aimed to assess the differential toxicity of Sal in esophageal CSLCs and its relation to TAZ gene expression.
Methods: The esophageal cancer cell line, KYSE-30, was used for the enrichment of CSLCs. The expression of TAZ was knocked down using specific siRNA transfection and then the cytotoxicity of Sal was measured using XTT assay. The qRT-PCR method was used for gene expression assessment and the sphere formation ability was monitored using light microscopy.
Results: Our findings showed that esophageal CSLCs over-express stemness-associated genes, including SOX2, OCT4 as well as TAZ (~14 fold, P value=0.02) transcription coactivator. We found Sal can selectively inhibit KYSE-30 CSLCs viability and sphere formation ability; however, TAZ knockdown does not change its differential toxicity.
Conclusion: Overall, our results indicated that Sal can selectively decrease the viability of esophageal CSLCs in a TAZ-independent manner.
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