N,N-Dimethylformamide–induced Synthesis of an Anti-Fibronectin Reactive Protein in Cultured Human Colon Carcinoma Cells

Michael E. Marks, Barry L. Ziober, Michael G. Brattain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The cell surfaces of human colon cancer cells before and after exposure to N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) were probed using radioiodination and immunofluorescent labeling techniques. Growth of the human colon carcinoma cell line HCT MOSER in DMF-supplemented culture medium resulted in monolayer culture growth and marked cell morphology alterations consisting of cellular flattening and elongation. Accompanying the morphology alterations were distinct changes in the cell surface protein composition as determined by I labeling and electrophoresis. The cell surface changes associated with growth of HCT MOSER cells in the presence of DMF were dependent upon time of exposure to DMF and DMF concentration. Furthermore, removal of DMF-treated HCT MOSER cells from DMF-containing growth medium caused reversion of both cell morphology and cell surface composition to a state comparable to that of cells not exposed to DMF. The HCT MOSER cell surface alterations produced by DMF included a reduction of radioiodi-nated surface proteins with molecular weights of 87,000, 120,000, and 180,000 and an increase of a 125I-labeled surface protein with a molecular weight of 200,000-250,000. Appearance of a surface protein of approximately 200,000 molecular weight and assumption of a fibroblast–like morphology by DMF-treated HCT MOSER cells suggested that this approximately 200,000 molecular weight material might be fibronectin. Immunofluorescent labeling with anti-human fibronectin showed that HCT MOSER cells grown in DMF did manifest an anti-fibronectin immunoreactive material that was only transiently associated with the cell surface before being released. DMF-treated HCT MOSER cultures continued to express surface carcinoembryonic antigen, indicating that the presence of material immunoreactive with anti-human fibronectin was not secondary to proliferation of a contaminating fibroblast population. The response of HCT MOSER cells to DMF paralleled in many ways that previously reported for methylcholanthrene-transformed AKR-2B (AKR-MCA) fibroblasts. However, unlike AKR-MCA cells, HCT MOSER cells did not exhibit an increase in 125I incorporation per µg DNA as a function of time of exposure to DMF, which suggests that the surface protein with a molecular weight of approximately 200,000 induced by DMF was not retained on the cell surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5248-5258
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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