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

Sialylation and sulfation of lactosylceramide distinctly regulate anchorage-independent growth, apoptosis, and gene expression in 3LL Lewis lung carcinoma cells.

To investigate the significance of sialylation and sulfation of lactosylceramide in transformed cells, we established ganglioside GM3- and lactosylsulfatide (SM3)-reconstituted cells by transfecting cDNAs of GM3 synthase and cerebroside sulfotransferase into the J5 subclone of 3LL Lewis lung carcinoma cells. The J5 clone was selected for the transfection of these genes because it lacks GM3 and SM3 but accumulates lactosylceramide. The anchorage-dependent growth of both GM3- and SM3-reconstituted cells was similar. However, anchorage-independent growth (as measured by colony-forming ability in soft agar) of the SM3- reconstituted cells was almost completely lost, which supports our previous observation showing the suppression of tumorigenic potential in vivo and beta1 integrin gene expression induced by the introduction of cerebroside sulfotransferase gene (Kabayama et al. [2001] J. Biol. Chem., 276, 26777-26783). The GM3-reconstituted cells formed a significantly higher number of colonies in soft agar compared to mock-transfected cells and began to proliferate and become resistant to apoptosis when serum was depleted, indicating that endogenous GM3 is essential for maintaining these fundamental properties of malignant cells. We also found that serum-induced ERK1/2 activation was suppressed in the GM3-reconstituted cells, suggesting that anchorage-independent cell cycle initiation by endogenous GM3 is elicited through pathway(s) independent of ERK1/2 activation. The selective down-regulation of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-dependent ERK1/2 activation in the GM3-reconstituted cells was due to the substantial decreases of PDGF alpha receptor mRNA and protein, but in the SM3-reconstituted cells PDGF alpha receptor expression was similar to mock cells. Thus, endogenously produced GM3 and SM3 differentially and distinctly regulate tumor-progression ability, that is, GM3 leads the transformed phenotype of J5 cells to promotion and SM3 to abrogation.[1]


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