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Oncogene. 1997 Apr 3;14(13):1589-600.

Down-regulation of NF-kappaB activity and NF-kappaB p65 subunit expression by ras and polyoma middle T oncogenes in human colonic Caco-2 cells.

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INSERM U 402, Laboratoire de Biologie Cellulaire, Faculté de MédecineSaint-Antoine, Paris, France.


The products of ras and src proto-oncogenes are frequently activated in a constitutive state in human colorectal cancer. In this study we attempted to establish whether the tumorigenic progression induced by oncogenic activation of p21ras or pp60c-src in human colonic cells is associated with alterations of the activity and expression of nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB), a transcription factor suspected to participate in the development of cancer. To this end, we used Caco-2 cells made highly tumorigenic by transfection with an activated Val-12 human Ha-ras gene or with the polyoma middle T (PyMT) oncogene, a constitutive activator of pp60c-src tyrosine kinase activity. Compared with control vector-transfected Caco-2 cells, both oncogene-transfected cell lines exhibited: (i) decreased constitutive NF-kappaB DNA-binding activity and NF-kappaB-mediated reporter gene expression, without alteration of their response to TNF-alpha for activation of these parameters; (ii) reduced NF-kappaB cytosolic stores along with a decreased p65 expression due, at least in part, to destabilization of p65 mRNA; (iii) a decrease in adhesion to extracellular matrix component-coated substrata which was partially corrected when stimulating NF-kappaB transcriptional activity with TNF-alpha. These results indicate that the tumorigenic progression induced by oncogenic p21ras or PyMT/pp60c-src in human colonic Caco-2 cells is associated with a down-regulation of p65 expression and NF-kappaB activity which could be responsible for the reduced adhesive properties of these cells after oncogene transfection.

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