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J Surg Oncol. 1994 Jul;56(3):198-208.

Loss of alpha 1 beta 1 and reduced expression of other beta 1 integrins and CAM in lung adenocarcinoma compared with pneumocytes.

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Department of Thoracic Surgery, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030.


Alterations in expression of various cell-adhesion molecules have been reported in a variety of malignant tissues. However, little is known about how lung adenocarcinomas differ in CAM expression from the normal lung. We analyzed the expression of integrins alpha 1 beta 1 through alpha 6 beta 1, intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1, neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), and lymphocyte function antigen (LFA)-3, CD44, and the two carbohydrate antigens, Lewisx (Le(x)) and sialosyl-Le-Le(x) of lung adenocarcinoma cells, and compared them with autologous pneumocytes. CAM expression was studied by an immunohistochemical method using monoclonal antibodies, and computerized image analysis was used to quantify the immunoperoxidase-staining intensity. The normal lung alveolar cells strongly expressed the integrins alpha 1 beta 1 and alpha 3 beta 1, and fairly expressed alpha 2 beta 1, alpha 4 beta 1, alpha 5 beta 1, and alpha 6 beta 1. ICAM-1, LFA-3, and CD44 were strongly expressed, whereas NCAM, the Le(x) and sialosyl-Le-Le(x) antigens, were expressed weakly. In contrast, we did not detect expression of the alpha 1 beta 1 integrin on any autologous lung adenocarcinoma cells, and they showed on average a 50% reduction in labeling relative intensity units for the integrin common chain marker beta 1, the specific integrins alpha 3 beta 1, alpha 5 beta 1, and alpha 6 beta 1, and ICAM-1, and LFA-3. Examination of the adjacent small blood vessel endothelium in malignant lung tissues did not reveal any major alterations in CAM expression, the small vessel endothelium of the normal and malignant lung tissues appeared with a similar CAM profile. These results suggest that lung adenocarcioma cells have a lack of alpha 1 beta 1 expression and significant reduction in some other integrin beta 1 and CAM expression in comparison with their autologous pneumocytes. This aberration in CAM expression by the lung adenocarcinoma cells may be involved in their loss of proliferation control and may interfere with leukocyte adhesion to tumor cells, enabling the tumor to escape immunodestruction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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