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Am J Pathol. 2000 Mar;156(3):939-50.

Semaphorin SEMA3F localization in malignant human lung and cell lines: A suggested role in cell adhesion and cell migration.

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Laboratoire de Pathologie Cellulaire, INSERM EMI 9924, CHRU Grenoble, Grenoble, France.


Semaphorins/collapsins are a family of secreted and membrane-associated proteins involved in nerve growth cone migration. However, some are expressed widely in adult tissues suggesting additional functions. SEMA3F/H.SemaIV was previously isolated from a 3p21.3 homozygous deletion region in human lung cancer. We studied SEMA3F cellular localization using our previously characterized anti-SEMA3F antibody. In normal lung, SEMA3F was found in all epithelial cells at the cytoplasmic membrane and, to a lesser extent, in the cytoplasm. In lung tumors, the localization was predominantly cytoplasmic, and the levels were comparatively reduced. In non-small-cell lung carcinomas, low levels correlated with higher stage. In all tumors, an exclusive cytoplasmic localization of SEMA3F correlated with high levels of vascular endothelial growth factor and was related to the grade and aggressiveness. This suggests that vascular endothelial growth factor might compete with SEMA3F for binding to their common receptors, neuropilin-1 and -2 and might contribute to SEMA3F delocalization and deregulation in lung tumor. In parallel studies, SEMA3F distribution was examined in cell cultures by confocal microscopy. Marked staining was observed in pseudopods and in the leading edge or ruffling membranes of lamellipods or cellular protrusions in motile cells. SEMA3F was also observed at the interface of adjacent interacting cells suggesting a role in cell motility and cell adhesion.

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