MMR-proficient and MMR-deficient colorectal cancer cells: 5-Fluorouracil treatment response and correlation to CD133 and MGMT expression

Colorectal Cancer

J Biosci. 2020;45:121.


Cancer stem cells (CSCs) from colorectal cancer (CRC), characterized by CD133 expression, have been associated with 5-fluorouracile (5-FU) chemoresistance. DNA repair mechanisms, such as O6-alkylguanine DNA alkyltransferase (MGMT) and mismatch repair (MMR) systems, have also been correlated to 5-FU resistance in CRC. The aim of this study was to evaluate the modulation of CD133 and MGMT in MMRproficient and MMR-deficient CRC cells under 5-FU treatment and the effect of this drug in CSCs. CD133

and MGMT methylation status were determined in MMR-proficient (SW480 and HT29) and MMR-deficient (RKO and HCT116) cell lines by methylation-specific PCRs. SW480 and RKO were selected to determine modulation of CD133, MGMT and MMR expression after 5-FU treatment by qPCR. In addition, CD133, MGMT and MMR were analyze in SW480 and RKO CSCs. No association between promoter methylation and MGMT and CD133 expression was found. 5-FU treatment increased CD133 expression independently to MMR status in SW480 and RKO and was able to increase hMLH1 expression in RKO, a MMR-deficient cell line. RKO/ CSCs overexpressed CD133 and MMR (hMSH2 and hMSH6) while SW480/CSCs showed a significant increase in CD133, MMR (hMLH1, hMSH2 and hMSH6) and MGMT, moreover 5-FU resistance than parental cell lines. Thus, although CSCs 5-FU chemoresistance appears to be independently to MMR status, hMLH1 might play a key role in CSC response to 5-FU. New drugs exploding these differences could benefit the prognostic of patients with CRC.