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Cancer Res. 2004 Sep 15;64(18):6377-80.

A novel role for the coxsackie adenovirus receptor in mediating tumor formation by lung cancer cells.

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Department of Medicine and The Lung Cancer Research Program, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California at Los Angeles, California 90073, USA.


The Coxsackie Adenovirus Receptor (CAR) has primarily been studied in its role as the initial cell surface attachment receptor for Coxsackie and group C adenoviruses. Recent reports suggest that CAR mediates homotypic intercellular adhesion as part of the tight and/or adherens junction. Thus, CAR is well positioned to participate in intercellular interactions and signaling. Using an antisense (AS)-CAR plasmid vector, we silenced surface CAR expression in lung cancer cells that possessed a high basal expression of this molecule and monitored the resultant tumorigenesis. AS-CAR transfectants exhibit a profound loss in the ability to generate xenografts in scid/scid mice. The emergence of delayed-onset tumors in animals that received injection with AS-CAR transfectants correlates with the resurfacing of CAR expression, suggesting that such expression and tumor emergence are temporally related. To study the mechanism underlying the differences in tumorigenicity, control and AS-CAR cells were compared in terms of their in vitro growth potential. Whereas only subtle differences in the proliferative capacity of the two populations were evident when assayed with growth on plastic, significant differences became apparent when one compared the relative ability of these populations to form colonies in soft agar. These data indicate that silencing surface CAR expression abrogates xenograft tumorigenesis in vivo and colony formation in vitro and invoke the novel possibility that CAR expression is needed for the efficient formation of tumors by a subset of lung cancer cells.

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