Adult human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSC) cultured for cell therapy require evaluation of potency and stability for safe use. Chromosomal aberrations upsetting genomic integrity in such cells have been contrastingly described as "Limited" or "Significant". Previously reported stepwise acquisition of a spontaneous neoplastic phenotype during three-year continuous culture of telomerized cells (hBMSC-TERT20) didn't alter a diploid karyotype measured by spectral karyotype analysis (SKY). Such screening may not adequately monitor abnormal and potentially tumorigenic hBMSC in clinical scenarios. We here used array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) to more stringently compare non-tumorigenic parental hBMSC-TERT strains with their tumorigenic subcloned populations. Confirmation of a known chromosome 9p21 microdeletion at locus CDKN2A/B, showed it also impinged upon the adjacent MTAP gene. Compared to reference diploid human fibroblast genomic DNA, the non-tumorigenic hBMSC-TERT4 cells had a copy number variation (CNV) in at least 14 independent loci. The pre-tumorigenic hBMSC-TERT20 cell strain had further CNV including 1q44 gain enhancing SMYD3 expression and 11q13.1 loss downregulating MUS81 expression. Bioinformatic analysis of gene products reflecting 11p15.5 CNV gain in tumorigenic hBMSC-TERT20 cells highlighted networks implicated in tumorigenic progression involving cell cycle control and mis-match repair. We provide novel biomarkers for prospective risk assessment of expanded stem cell cultures.
- Array CGH
- Bone marrow stromal cell