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Cancer Res. 1984 Apr;44(4):1648-52.

Effects of sodium butyrate, dimethyl sulfoxide, and retinoic acid on glycolipids of human rectal adenocarcinoma cells.


In the present study, we have examined the neutral glycolipids, gangliosides, and sulfoglycolipids of human rectal adenocarcinoma (HRT-18) cells and the alterations produced by the differentiating agents, sodium butyrate, dimethyl sulfoxide, and retinoic acid. Thin-layer chromatography of neutral glycolipids showed that HRT-18 cells contained mono- and diglycosylceramides. Cells treated with differentiating agents had additional glycolipids which comigrated with tri- and tetraglycosylceramides. Labeling of neutral glycolipids with [3H]galactose showed that HRT-18 cells also contain glycosylceramides larger than diglycosylceramides which also were altered by treatment with differentiating agents. In studies of acidic glycolipids, GM3, the major ganglioside in untreated cells, was reduced in cells treated with retinoic acid but not in cells treated with other agents. Upon labeling with radioactive galactose, changes were seen only in the minor ganglioside components of treated cells. Differentiating agents also altered the patterns of sulfogalactolipids and fucolipids in HRT-18 cells. In the case of fucolipids, 2 new bands were observed in the cells treated with dimethyl sulfoxide and retinoic acid. The changes brought about by differentiating agents may identify glycolipids involved in the process of tumorigenicity.

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