The biomarkers of leukemia stem cells in acute myeloid leukemia
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a heterogeneous disease characterized by morphology and chromosome aberrations with high mortality. Leukemia stem cells (LSCs) in AML played important roles in leukemia initiation, progression, and were considered to be the root of chemotherapeutic drug resistance and disease relapse. The identification and targeting LSCs depended on membrane markers like CD34, CD38, CD123, TIM3, CD25, CD32 and CD96. In addition, the transcription factors were also therapeutic targets in eradicating LSCs, such as histone deacetylases (HDACs), NF-κB, HIF-1α and β-catenin. Besides membrane markers and transcription factors, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), telomerase and microRNAs were identified to be new targets for ablating LSCs in AML.