Background Previously, we enriched a subpopulation of head and neck cancer-derived tumor initiating cells (HNC-TICs) presented high tumorigenic, chemo-radioresistant, and coupled with epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) properties. The purpose of this study was to investigate the therapeutic effect and molecular mechanisms of quercetin on HNC-TICs. Method ALDH1 activity of head and neck cancer cells with quercetin treatment was assessed by the Aldefluor assay flow cytometry analysis. Self-renewal, invasiveness, and EMT capability of HNC-TICs with different doses of quercetin was presented. Results We first observed that the treatment of quercetin significantly downregulated the ALDH1 activity of head and neck cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner (p <.05). Moreover, quercetin reduced self-renewal property and stemness signatures expression in head and neck cancer-derived sphere cells. The migration ability of head and neck cancer-derived sphere cells was lessened under quercetin treatment partially due to the decreased productions of Twist, N-cadherin, and vimentin. Conclusion Quercetin suppressing HNC-TICs characteristics may therefore be valuable therapeutics clinically in combination with standard treatment modalities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Chang, W. W., Hu, F. W., Yu, C. C., Wang, H. H., Feng, H. P., Lan, C., Tsai, L. L., & Chang, Y. C. (2013). Quercetin in elimination of tumor initiating stem-like and mesenchymal transformation property in head and neck cancer. Head and Neck, 35(3), 413-419. https://doi.org/10.1002/hed.22982