Reduced substratum adhesion and decreased expressions of 1 and 4 integrins in human breast cancer cells with a property of anchorage-independent growth.
Published online on: May 1, 1999
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The proliferation of normal human breast epithelial (HBE) cells was found to be dependent on their attachment on a solid culture substratum, whereas human breast cancer MCF-7 cells could grow in soft agar. The attachment of the dissociated single HBE cells to the substratum was complete within 4 h after replating, and most of the cells once attached were detached from the substratum by incubation with trypsin for 30 min. In contrast, the attachment of MCF-7 cells to the substratum proceeded more rapidly compared to that of HBE cells, and more than 90% of the MCF-7 cells once attached were detached within a 10-min incubation with trypsin. The attachment of HBE cells to the substratum was significantly inhibited by a function-blocking antibody to beta1 or beta4 integrin, whereas MCF-7 cells were not prevented from attaching by the anti-integrin beta1 antibody as far as examined but were by the anti-integrin beta4 antibody at the highest concentration tested. The absolute amounts of beta1 integrin in HBE and MCF-7 cells were comparable to each other, while the cell surface level of beta1 in the MCF-7 cells was only 10% of that in the HBE cells. Both the total and cell surface levels of beta4 integrin expression in the MCF-7 cells were 30-40% of those in the HBE cells. The results suggest that anchorage-dependent HBE cells attach to the culture substratum via both beta1 and beta4 integrins, thereby generating a strong adhesiveness to the substratum. In contrast, anchorage-independent MCF-7 cells had reduced adhesiveness to the substratum, and this property is suggested to be due to decreased levels of cell surface beta1 integrin and total beta4 integrin expressed compared to their levels in normal counterparts.