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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Biological properties and expression of mucins in 5-fluorouracil resistant HT29 human colon cancer cells.

We have previously reported that HT29 human colon cancer cells selected by adaptation to 5-fluorouracil (5FU) (HT29-5FU cells) express increased levels of a major intestinal mucin MUC2 mRNA compared with parental HT29 cells. In this study, we examined in detail the changes in synthesis and secretion of mucin that occur in these cells and accompanying changes in the expression of cancer associated mucin related carbohydrate antigens and cell lineage associated biochemical markers. We further investigated their relationship to biological properties of cells. Northern blot analysis revealed a markedly increased level of MUC2 mRNA but no significant change in the mRNA levels of other mucins in HT29-5FU cells compared with parental HT29 cells. Labeling with radiolabeled precursors demonstrated increased synthesis and secretion of mucin glycoproteins by HT29-5FU cells. Immunoblot analysis showed a higher expression of mucin associated carbohydrate antigens such as T, Tn, sialyl Tn, sialyl Lea, sialyl Lex and non-O-acetylated sialic acid concomitant with significant increases in the expression of goblet cell lineage marker, MUC2 apomucin and a panepithelial cell marker, carcinoembryonic antigen. HT29-5FU cells showed significantly higher adhesion to E-selectin and to matrigel and in vitro invasive properties and significantly increased liver colonization capacity in nude mice following splenic vein injection. Nude mouse xenograft tumors produced by HT29-5FU cells showed a greater degree of differentiation, consisting of mucin secreting glands than those produced by parental HT29 cells. These results indicate that predominantly colonic type mucin, MUC2, has been selectively induced in HT29-5FU cells and that altered regulation of mucin genes associated with altered synthesis and secretion of mucin glycoproteins and the degree of differentiation in cancer cells may be responsible for the altered biological properties of these cells.[1]


  1. Biological properties and expression of mucins in 5-fluorouracil resistant HT29 human colon cancer cells. Choi, S.R., Cho, M., Kim, H.R., Ahn, D.H., Sleisenger, M.H., Kim, Y.S. Int. J. Oncol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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