Background: Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are cells characterized by their self-renewal and tumorigenic potential. The purpose of this study was to discover the role of the delta-like factor 1 (DLK1) in sarcoma. Methods: mRNA expression of DLK1 from 13 sarcoma cell lines was examined. Isolated CSCs from the tumors were examined using fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) with CD133, the CSC marker, or sphere-forming assay. The relationship between DLK1 and CSCs in sarcoma was examined using cell proliferation and cell invasion assays after they were treated with DLK1 short interfering RNA (siRNA). Results: A high expression of DLK1 mRNA was observed in all sarcoma cell lines. However, CSCs were isolated from over expressed sarcomas of the DLK1 gene, and they have shown to be expressed lower than the wild type. The anti-cancer effects of DLK1 siRNA inhibited cell proliferation and invasion in U2OS, A204, and sw872. In addition, treatment with DLK1 siRNA inhibited cell invasion in sw872 CSCs. DLK1 gene induces tumorigenesis in various sarcoma cells and regulates the invasiveness of liposar-coma. These results suggest that DLK1 could serve as a possible therapeutic target for sarcoma. Conclusions: Our study showed that the DLK1 gene induces tumorigenesis in various sarcomas and is associated with invasive mechanism in sarcoma. These results suggest DLK1 could serve as a possible therapeutic target in a variety of sarcomas.
- Cancer stem cell