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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 517237, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/517237
Review Article

Side Population Cells as Prototype of Chemoresistant, Tumor-Initiating Cells

Cancer Research Program, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695014, India

Received 3 May 2013; Accepted 23 September 2013

Academic Editor: Jiing-Kuan Yee

Copyright © 2013 Vinitha Richard et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Classically, isolation of CSCs from tumors exploits the detection of cell surface markers associated with normal stem cells. Invariable expression of these cell surface markers in almost all proliferating tumor cells that albeit impart specific functionality, the universality, and clinical credibility of CSC phenotype based on markers is still dubious. Side Population (SP) cells, as defined by Hoechst dye exclusion in flow cytometry, have been identified in many solid tumors and cell lines and the SP phenotype can be considered as an enriched source of stem cells as well as an alternative source for the isolation of cancer stem cells especially when molecular markers for stem cells are unknown. SP cells may be responsible for the maintenance and propagation of tumors and the proportion of SP cells may be a predictor of patient outcome. Several of these markers used in cell sorting have emerged as prognostic markers of disease progression though it is seen that the development of new CSC-targeted strategies is often hindered by poor understanding of their regulatory networks and functions. This review intends to appraise the experimental progress towards enhanced isolation and drug screening based on property of acquired chemoresistance of cancer stem cells.