Identification of liver cancer stem cell stemness markers using a comparative analysis of public data sets

Kirill Borziak, Joseph Finkelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Comparative reanalysis of single-cell transcriptomics data to gain useful novel insights into cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are a rare subset of cells within tumors, characterized by their capability to self-renew and differentiate, and their role in tumorigenicity. Patients and Methods: This project utilized publically available liver single-cell RNA-seq datasets of liver cancer and liver progenitor cell types to demonstrate how shared large amounts of data can generate new and valuable information. The data were analyzed using EdgeR differential expression analysis, with focus on a set of 34 known stemness markers. Results: We showed that the expression of stemness markers SOX9, KRT19, KRT7, and CD24, and Yamanaka factors Oct4 and SOX2 in CSCs was significantly elevated relative to progenitor cell types, potentially explaining their increased differentiation and replication potential. Conclusion: These results help to further document the complementary expression changes that give CSCs their distinct phenotypic profile. Our findings have potential significance to advance our knowledge of the important genes relevant to CSCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages9
JournalStem Cells and Cloning: Advances and Applications
StatePublished - 2021


  • CSCs
  • RNA-seq; cancer
  • Single cell sequencing
  • Yamanaka factors


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