Metastatic potential of human CX-1 colon adenocarcinoma cells is dependent on the expression of sialosyl Lea antigen

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Several lines of evidence indicate that sialosyl Lea, tumor-associated carbohydrate antigen present on human colon carcinoma cells, is involved in formation of metastases. To study the role of this carbohydrate structure in development of metastases, we have used the clone of human colon carcinoma CX-1 cells transfected with antisense expression vector containing fragment of cDNA for α1,3/4-fucosyltransferase (FT III), which is involved in synthesis of sialosyl Lea tetrasaccharide. It has been reported previously that, in contrast to the parental cells, the antisense-transfected CX-1.1AS5 cells do not express sialosyl Lea and do not adhere to E-selectin-expressing CHO cells. In the present work we have studied the formation of liver metastases by CX-1.1AS5 cells after their orthotopic or intrasplenic implantation into athymic nu/nu mice. After orthotopic implantation of sialosyl Lea-negative colon carcinoma CX-1.1AS5 cells, the number of mice with liver metas-tases was markedly lower (21% of mice) in comparison with their number after implantation of the parental CX-1.1 cells (86% of mice). However, no differences in ability to form colonies in liver were observed between parental CX-1.1 cells and antisense-transfected CX-1.1AS5 cells after intrasplenic inoculation. The liver metastases were formed in 89% and 84% of mice, respectively. Our data support the thesis on the importance of sialosyl Le a antigen expression in the development of liver metastases by colon cancer cells, and indicate the role of transplantation route and primary tumor localization in formation of metastases.

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