Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a highly invasive and metastatic tumor, and the decreased expression of α3β1 integrin may contribute to its virulence. α3β1 is a critical integrin for pulmonary development and epithelial integrity, and its reduced expression has been linked to the increased malignancy and invasion of other cancers. The amplification of the c-myc oncogene is seen frequently in relapsed SCLC tumors and is associated with a worsened prognosis. In the present study using a model of SCLC tumor progression, overexpression of c-myc in a classic SCLC cell line, NCI H209, enhanced in vitro features of tumorigenesis, altered the relationships between cell and environment, and markedly down-regulated the expression of the α3 integrin subunit at both the transcript and protein levels. This inverse relationship between the expression of the α3 integrin subunit and c-myc is mimicked by other c-myc-overexpressing SCLC cell lines. Restoring α3 expression in the myc-transfected 209 cells reversed the effects of c- myc: α3 transfection increased cell:cell adhesion and reduced soft agar cloning without affecting the in vitro doubling time. The diminished soft agar cloning produced by α3 transfection was reversed by an antibody that specifically engages α3β1 integrins, P1B5. These results suggest first, that α3β1 integrin mediates homotypic adhesion of SCLC cells, and second, that unengaged α3β1 integrin suppresses the growth of disaggregated SCLC cells. Thus, the down-regulation of the α3 integrin subunit may contribute to the enhanced tumorigenicity of c-myc-overexpressing SCLCs by allowing the growth of tumor cells that have reduced contact with ligand-expressing substratum or cells, a condition that occurs during the growth of the primary tumor, tumor invasion, and metastasis.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - Dec 1 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research