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CD133: a stem cell biomarker and beyond

Zhong Li

Author Affiliations

Central Laboratory, the 10th People’s Hospital, Tongji University, 301 Middle Yanchang Road, Shanghai 200072, China

Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital/Institute, the Second Military Medical University, 225 Changhai Road, Shanghai 200438, China

Experimental Hematology & Oncology 2013, 2:17  doi:10.1186/2162-3619-2-17

Published: 1 July 2013


Cancer stem cells (CSCs) or tumor initiating cells (TICs) contribute to tumorigenesis, metastasis, recurrence and chemoresistance. CD133, a pentaspan membrane glycoprotein, has been used as a stem cell biomarker for isolation of stem-like cells from a variety of normal and pathological tissues as well as cell lines since its discovery in 1999. Recent studies are focusing on the functionality of CD133. In this review, we summarize new insights into CD133 regulation and the involvement of CD133 in cell self-renewal, tumorigenesis, metastasis, resistance, metabolism, differentiation, autophagy, apoptosis, and regeneration.