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1.  Tumor cell migration and invasion are regulated by expression of variant integrin glycoforms 
Experimental cell research  2008;314(16):2941-2950.
The ST6Gal-I glycosyltransferase, which adds α2-6-linked sialic acids to glycoproteins, is overexpressed in colon adenocarcinoma, and enzyme activity is correlated with tumor cell invasiveness. Previously we reported that forced expression of oncogenic ras in HD3 colonocytes causes upregulation of ST6Gal-I, leading to increased α2-6 sialylation of β1 integrins. To determine whether ras-induced sialylation is involved in promoting the tumor cell phenotype, we used shRNA to downregulate ST6Gal-I in ras-expressors, and then monitored integrin-dependent responses. Here we show that forced ST6Gal-I downregulation, leading to diminished α2-6 sialylation of integrins, inhibits cell adhesion to collagen-I, a β1 ligand. Correspondingly, collagen binding is reduced by enzymatic removal of cell surface sialic acids from ras-expressors with high ST6Gal-I levels (i.e., no shRNA). Cells with forced ST6Gal-I downregulation also exhibit decreased migration on collagen-I and diminished invasion through Matrigel. Importantly, GD25 cells, which lack β1 integrins (and ST6Gal-I), do not demonstrate differential invasiveness when forced to express ST6Gal-I, suggesting that the effects of variant sialylation are mediated specifically by β1 integrins. The observation that cell migration and invasion can be blocked in oncogenic ras-expressing cells by forcing ST6Gal-I downregulation implicates differential sialylation as an important ras effector, and also suggests that ST6Gal-I is a promising therapeutic target.
doi:10.1016/j.yexcr.2008.07.021
PMCID: PMC2570357  PMID: 18703050
Ras; integrin; sialic acid; metastasis; collagen; colonocytes
2.  Mesenchymal stem cell interaction with ultra smooth nanostructured diamond for wear resistant orthopaedic implants 
Biomaterials  2008;29(24-25):3461-3468.
Ultra smooth nanostructured diamond (USND) can be applied to greatly increase the wear resistance of orthopaedic implants over conventional designs. Herein we describe surface modification techniques and cytocompatibility studies performed on this new material. We report that hydrogen (H) -terminated USND surfaces supported robust mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) adhesion and survival, while oxygen (O) and fluorine (F) -terminated surfaces resisted cell adhesion, indicating that USND can be modified to either promote or prevent cell/biomaterial interactions. Given the favorable cell response to H-terminated USND, this material was further compared with two commonly-used biocompatible metals, titanium alloy (Ti-6Al-4V) and cobalt chrome (CoCrMo). MSC adhesion and proliferation were significantly improved on USND compared with CoCrMo, although cell adhesion was greatest on Ti-6Al-4V. Comparable amounts of the proadhesive protein, fibronectin, were deposited from serum on the three substrates. Finally, MSCs were induced to undergo osteoblastic differentiation on the three materials, and deposition of a mineralized matrix was quantified. Similar amounts of mineral were deposited onto USND and CoCrMo, whereas mineral deposition was slightly higher on Ti-6Al-4V. When coupled with recently published wear studies, these in vitro results suggest that USND has the potential to reduce debris particle release from orthopaedic implants without compromising osseointegration.
doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2008.04.045
PMCID: PMC2504022  PMID: 18490051
Diamond; Mesenchymal stem cell; Biocompatibility; Surface treatment; Protein adsorption; Osseointegration
3.  ST6Gal-I expression in ovarian cancer cells promotes an invasive phenotype by altering integrin glycosylation and function 
Background
Ovarian adenocarcinoma is not generally discovered in patients until there has been widespread intraperitoneal dissemination, which is why ovarian cancer is the deadliest gynecologic malignancy. Though incompletely understood, the mechanism of peritoneal metastasis relies on primary tumor cells being able to detach themselves from the tumor, escape normal apoptotic pathways while free floating, and adhere to, and eventually invade through, the peritoneal surface. Our laboratory has previously shown that the Golgi glycosyltransferase, ST6Gal-I, mediates the hypersialylation of β1 integrins in colon adenocarcinoma, which leads to a more metastatic tumor cell phenotype. Interestingly, ST6Gal-I mRNA is known to be upregulated in metastatic ovarian cancer, therefore the goal of the present study was to determine whether ST6Gal-I confers a similarly aggressive phenotype to ovarian tumor cells.
Methods
Three ovarian carcinoma cell lines were screened for ST6Gal-I expression, and two of these, PA-1 and SKOV3, were found to produce ST6Gal-I protein. The third cell line, OV4, lacked endogenous ST6Gal-I. In order to understand the effects of ST6Gal-I on cell behavior, OV4 cells were stably-transduced with ST6Gal-I using a lentiviral vector, and integrin-mediated responses were compared in parental and ST6Gal-I-expressing cells.
Results
Forced expression of ST6Gal-I in OV4 cells, resulting in sialylation of β1 integrins, induced greater cell adhesion to, and migration toward, collagen I. Similarly, ST6Gal-I expressing cells were more invasive through Matrigel.
Conclusion
ST6Gal-I mediated sialylation of β1 integrins in ovarian cancer cells may contribute to peritoneal metastasis by altering tumor cell adhesion and migration through extracellular matrix.
doi:10.1186/1757-2215-1-3
PMCID: PMC2584051  PMID: 19014651

Results 1-3 (3)