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

CD44 protein levels and its biological activity are regulated in Balb/c 3T3 fibroblasts by serum factors and by transformation with the ras but not with the sis oncogene.

CD44s (standard isoform) levels and hyaluronan-binding activity were investigated in Balb/c 3T3 cells and their derivatives transformed with ras or sis oncogenes as a function of serum concentration in the medium. 3T3 cells contained low levels of CD44 and did not bind hyaluronan when grown in medium containing 0.5 or 10% serum. In 5% serum, however, the cells had much higher levels of CD44 and were able to bind hyaluronan. CD44 levels also increased in 3T3 cells restimulated with either 5 or 10% serum after prior maintenance in low serum. In cells restimulated with 5% serum, high levels of CD44 were sustained for at least 72 hr. In cells restimulated with 10% serum, however, the increase in CD44 levels reverted by 48 hr. Transformation of 3T3 cells with ras (but not with sis) oncogene rendered CD44 levels insensitive to serum modulation: ras-transformed cells contained high levels of CD44 and bound hyaluronan at all serum concentrations and at all time points tested. Sis-transformed cells behaved like 3T3 cells in these modulatory changes. Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), when supplementing 0.5% serum, mimicked the effects of serum on the levels and hyaluronan-binding capacity of CD44 in 3T3 cells and the CD44-upregulating activity of serum was neutralized by incubation with anti-PDGF antibodies. These data demonstrate that serum factors, specifically PDGF, mediate regulation of CD44 levels in BAlb/c 3T3 cells and that transformation of 3T3 cells by ras renders CD44 expression insensitive to the modulating effects of serum in vitro. These results correlate with the metastatic capacity of these cells in vivo.[1]


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