Profiling of gene expression associated with stemness and aggressiveness of ALDH1A1-expressing human breast cancer cells

Septelia Inawati Wanandi, Resda Akhra Syahrani, Sekar Arumsari, Gita Wideani, Novi Silvia Hardiany

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: It has been widely reported that breast cancer aggressiveness may be driven by breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs). BCSCs display stemness properties that include self-renewal, tumourigenicity and pluripotency. The regulation of gene expression may have important roles in BCSC stemness and aggressiveness. Thus, the aim of this study was to examine the stemness and aggressiveness gene expression profile of BCSCs compared to MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Methods: Human ALDH1+ BCSCs were grown in serum-free Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle Medium (DMEM)/F12, while MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 were cultured in DMEM supplemented with 10% foetal bovine serum under standard conditions. Total RNA was extracted using the Tripure Isolation Reagent. The relative mRNA expressions of OCT4, ALDH1A1 and CD44 associated with stemness as well as TGF-β1, TβR1, ERα1 and MnSOD associated with aggressiveness in BCSCs and MCF-7 cells were determined using the quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). Results: The mRNA expressions of OCT4 (5.19-fold ± 0.338; P = 0.001), ALDH1A1 (3.67-fold ± 0.523; P = 0.006), CD44 (2.65-fold ± 0.307; P = 0.006), TGF-β1 (22.89-fold ± 6.840; P = 0.015), TβR1 (3.74-fold ± 1.446; P = 0.045) and MnSOD (4.6-fold ± 1.096; P = 0.014) were higher in BCSCs than in MCF-7 but were almost similar to MDA-MB-231 cells. In contrast, the ERα1 expression of BCSCs (0.97-fold ± 0.080; P = 0.392) was similar to MCF-7 cells, indicating that BSCSs are oestrogen-dependent breast cancer cells. Conclusion: The oestrogen-dependent BCSCs express stemness and aggressiveness genes at a higher level compared to oestrogen-dependent MCF-7 but are almost similar to oestrogen-independent MDA-MB-231 cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-52
Number of pages15
JournalMalaysian Journal of Medical Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Aggressiveness
  • Breast cancer
  • Breast cancer stem cells
  • Gene expression
  • Stemness


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