Lipid droplets: A New Player in Colorectal Cancer Stem Cells Unveiled by Spectroscopic Imaging

Matilde Todaro, Simone Di Franco, Giorgio Stassi, Rosanna La Rocca, Luca Tirinato, Roberta Ruffilli, Vijayakumar P. Rajamanickam, Lisette Potze, Mario Malerba, Patrizio Candeloro, Francesco De Angelis, Simone Di Franco, Andrea Falqui, Jan Paul Medema, Ennio Carbone, Roberto Marotta, Enzo Di Fabrizio, Carlo Liberale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Citations (Scopus)


The Cancer Stem Cell (CSC) model is describing tumors as a hierarchical organizedsystem and CSCs are suggested to be responsible for cancer recurrenceafter therapy. The identification of specific markers of CSCs is thereforeof paramount importance. Here we show that high levels of Lipid Droplets(LDs) are a distinctive mark of CSCs in colorectal (CR) cancer. This increasedlipid content was clearly revealed by label free Raman spectroscopyand it directly correlates with well‐accepted CR‐CSCs markers as CD133 andWnt pathway activity. By xenotransplantation experiments, we have finallydemonstrated that CR‐CSCs overexpressing LDs retain most tumorigenic potential.A relevant conceptual advance in this work is the demonstration that a cellularorganelle, the Lipid Droplet, is a signature of CSCs, in addition to molecularmarkers.A further functional characterization of LDs could lead soon to design newtarget therapies against CR‐CSCs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-44
Number of pages10
JournalStem Cells
Publication statusPublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Lipid droplets: A New Player in Colorectal Cancer Stem Cells Unveiled by Spectroscopic Imaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this