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Br J Cancer. 1999 Aug; 80(12): 1867–1874.
PMCID: PMC2374274

Different adhesion properties of highly and poorly metastatic HT-29 colon carcinoma cells with extracellular matrix components: role of integrin expression and cytoskeletal components


Integrin-mediated tumour cell adhesion to extracellular matrix (ECM) components is an important step in the development of metastatic lesions. Thus, integrin expression and integrin-mediated adhesion of colon carcinoma cells to various ECM components was examined. Poorly (HT-29P) and highly (HT-29LMM) liver-metastatic colon carcinoma cells were used to study the rates of adhesion to collagen I (C I), collagen IV (C IV), laminin (LN), fibronectin (FN), or vitronectin (VN) in a static adhesion assay (10–120 min). Cells were untreated or treated with oligopeptides (RGD, GRGDS, YIGSR, RGES), anti-integrin antibodies, or colchicine, nocodazole, cycloheximide, acrylamide or cytochalasin D (to disrupt cytoskeletal structures). Both cell lines expressed similar patterns of integrin expression (α2, α3, α6, αv, β1, β4 and β5) by immunocytochemistry and immunoprecipitation. HT-29LMM cells showed significantly higher rates of adhesion to LN (P < 0.001) and FN (P < 0.001), but significantly poorer rates of adhesion to C I (P < 0.05) and C IV (P < 0.001) than HT-29P cells, respectively, adhesion to VN was insignificant. RGD and GRGDS inhibited HT-29LMM cell adhesion to FN only. Pretreatment with anti-β1 or anti-α2 integrin subunits suppressed adhesion to C I and C IV, and adhesion to LN was inhibited with anti-β1 or anti-α6 integrin. Anti-β1 or anti-αv blocked adhesion to FN. Pretreatment of cells with cytochalasin D, cycloheximide or acrylamide inhibited adhesive interactions of both cell lines to the ECM components. In contrast, colchicine and nocodazole had no effect. The results demonstrate that adhesion of HT-29 cells to ECM is mediated, in part, by different integrins, depending on the substrate. Poorly and highly metastatic HT-29 cells possessed different patterns of adhesion to the various ECM substrates, but these differences were not due to different expression of integrin subunits. The results also suggested that the initial adhesion of poorly or highly metastatic HT-29 cells to ECM components requires, in part, the presence of native action and intermediate filaments, but not of microtubules. Thus the adhesion of tumour cells to ECM components may be dependent on signal transduction and assembly of microfilaments. © 1999 Cancer Research Campaign

Keywords: colorectal cancer, metastasis, adhesion, cytoskeleton, ECM, integrins

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Selected References

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