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Leukemia. 1998 Sep;12(9):1375-82.

Stem cell factor enhances the adhesion of AML cells to fibronectin and augments fibronectin-mediated anti-apoptotic and proliferative signals.

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Department of Haematology, University of Sydney at Westmead Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) cells express the SCF receptor c-kit (CD117) on their cell surface and demonstrate enhanced adhesion to fibronectin (FN) following exposure to stem cell factor (SCF). Increased adhesion occurs within 5 min, is dose dependent, and persists beyond 2 h. Baseline and enhanced adhesion occur through the surface FN receptor very late antigen-5 (VLA-5, CD49e/CD29) which is expressed by AML cells. Unstimulated AML cells exposed to FN undergo less apoptosis than controls (inhibition 22.5 +/- 7.0%, P = 0.02, n = 8). Exposure to SCF alone without FN also inhibits AML cell apoptosis (by 19.0 +/- 7.7% compared to controls, P = 0.06, n = 8). Simultaneous exposure to SCF and FN increases the inhibition of AML cell apoptosis to 37.8 +/- 7.9% (P = 0.005 compared to control, P = 0.04 compared to FN alone, P = 0.06 compared to SCF alone) demonstrating that SCF not only enhances the propensity of AML cells to adhere to FN, but also results in an additive survival benefit following FN contact. Some but not all the reduction in apoptosis is mediated through VLA-5. The combination of SCF and FN also affects proliferation, resulting in a synergistic enhancement of AML cell proliferation in half the cases studied. When normal CD34+ human haemopoietic progenitors were studied, FN had little effect on their apoptosis and failed to enhance the anti-apoptotic effect of SCF. It did, however, synergise with SCF in promoting CD34+ cell proliferation. Exposure of AML cells to SCF and FN, both of which can be found in high concentration in the bone marrow stroma, inhibits apoptosis. Cytokines and extracellular matrix proteins augment each others' effects since SCF enhances adhesion to fibronectin, which in turn augments the survival signal delivered by the cytokine alone. Cytokine and adhesion receptors can combine to affect cell characteristics including proliferation and survival.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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