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

Concomitant increases in galectin-1 and its glycoconjugate ligands (carcinoembryonic antigen, lamp-1, and lamp-2) in cultured human colon carcinoma cells by sodium butyrate.

Galactoside-binding lectins (galectins) with molecular masses of about 14.5 kilodaltons (galectin-1) and 31 kilodaltons (galectin-3) have been found in a variety of normal and malignant cells and have been implicated in the regulation of cell growth, cell adhesion, and metastasis. The KM12 human colon carcinoma cell line was found to express only galectin-3. Because the levels of both galectins are developmentally regulated and can be modulated during the differentiation of several cultured tumor cell lines, we studied the ability of 11 differentiation-inducing agents to induce galectin-1 expression in the KM12 cells. Treatment of these cells with sodium butyrate, an established differentiation-inducing agent for colon carcinoma cells, resulted in the induction of galectin-1, which was detected by immunoblotting as well as by affinity chromatography. This effect was not seen with any of the 10 other differentiating agents: hexamethylene bisacetamide, dimethyl sulfoxide, dimethyl formamide, herbimycin A, mycophenolic acid, retinoic acid, difluoromethyl ornithine, dibutyryl cAMP, 8-chloro cAMP, and transforming growth factor beta 1. Galectin-1 induction by butyrate was observed in seven other human colon carcinoma cell lines. Further studies with the KM12 cells revealed that butyrate caused cell flattening, suppressed cell proliferation and colony formation in agarose, and increased the level of carcinoembryonic antigen, a marker of human colon carcinoma cell differentiation, within 48 h of treatment. The increase in galectin-1 level was dependent linearly on butyrate concentration (range, 1-4 mM). Galectin-1 mRNA expression was detected by Northern blotting as early as 6 h, and the protein was detected after 24 h of treatment initiation. The level of the constitutively expressed galectin-3 was also increased by butyrate but to a lesser extent than the level of galectin-1. Butyrate-induced galectin-1 was detected on the cell surface by immunoprecipitation from radioiodinated cell surface proteins as well as by indirect immunofluorescence labeling. Affinity-purified human galectin-1 was found to bind to purified polylactosamine-containing glycoproteins and to detergent-solubilized cellular proteins electroblotted onto nitrocellulose membranes. Affinity chromatography of [3H]glucosamine-labeled KM12 cell extracts on immobilized galectin-1 followed by immunoprecipitation from the lactose-eluted material demonstrated that lysosome-associated membrane glycoprotein-1, carcinoembryonic antigen, and nonspecific cross-reacting antigen are the major galectin-1-binding proteins in these cells. These results indicate that galectin-1 expression may be associated with the differentiation of KM12 cells and that several glycoproteins shown to be important in colon carcinoma adhesion and metastasis are capable of functioning as its endogenous ligands.[1]


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