Insights & Perspectives
Characterization of stem cells and cancer cells on the basis of gene expression profile stability, plasticity, and robustness
Dynamical systems theory of gene expressions under cell-cell interaction explains mutational robustness of differentiated cells and suggests how cancer cells emerge
Article first published online: 2 MAY 2011
Copyright © 2011 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 33, Issue 6, pages 403–413, June 2011
How to Cite
Kaneko, K. (2011), Characterization of stem cells and cancer cells on the basis of gene expression profile stability, plasticity, and robustness. Bioessays, 33: 403–413. doi: 10.1002/bies.201000153
- Issue published online: 18 MAY 2011
- Article first published online: 2 MAY 2011
- cell-cell interaction;
- stem cell
Here I present and discuss a model that, among other things, appears able to describe the dynamics of cancer cell origin from the perspective of stable and unstable gene expression profiles. In identifying such aberrant gene expression profiles as lying outside the normal stable states attracted through development and normal cell differentiation, the hypothesis explains why cancer cells accumulate mutations, to which they are not robust, and why these mutations create a new stable state far from the normal gene expression profile space. Such cells are in strong contrast with normal cell types that appeared as an attractor state in the gene expression dynamical system under cell-cell interaction and achieved robustness to noise through evolution, which in turn also conferred robustness to mutation. In complex gene regulation networks, other aberrant cellular states lacking such high robustness are expected to remain, which would correspond to cancer cells.