Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 mediates murine colon adenocarcinoma invasion

Kenton Howard, Karen K. Lo, Lihua Ao, Fabia Gamboni, Barish H. Edil, Richard Schulick, Carlton C. Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) modulates cell-cell adhesion and is a receptor for cognate ligands on leukocytes. Upregulation of ICAM-1 has been demonstrated in malignant transformation of adenomas and is associated with poor prognosis for many malignancies. ICAM-1 is upregulated on the invasive front of pancreatic metastases and melanomas. These data suggest that the upregulated ICAM-1 expression promotes malignant progression. We hypothesize that the downregulation of ICAM-1 will mitigate tumor progression. Methods Mouse colon adenocarcinoma cells (MC38) were evaluated for the expression of ICAM-1 using Western immunoblot analysis. Short hairpin RNA (shRNA) transduction was used to downregulate ICAM-1. Tumor invasion determined via a modified Boyden chamber was used as a surrogate of tumor progression examining MC38 cells, MC38 ICAM-1 knockdowns, and MC38 transduced with vehicle control. The cells were cultured in full media for 24 h and serum-starved for 24 h. A total of 5 × 104 cells were plated and allowed to migrate for 24 h using full media with 10% fetal bovine serum as a chemoattractant. Inserts were fixed and stained with crystal violet. Blinded investigators counted the cells using a stereomicroscope. Statistical analysis was performed by analysis of variance with Fischer protected least significant difference and a P value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results ICAM-1 was constitutively expressed on MC38 cells. Transduction with anti-ICAM-1 shRNA vector downregulated ICAM-1 protein expression by 30% according to the Western blot analysis (P < 0.03) and decreased ICAM-1 messenger RNA expression by 70% according to the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. shRNA knockdown cells had a significant reduction in invasion >45% (P < 0.03). There were no significant differences between the invasion rates of MC38 and MC38 vehicle controls. Conclusions Downregulation of ICAM-1 mitigates MC38 invasion. These data suggest that targeted downregulation of tumor ICAM-1 is a potential therapeutic target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-23
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Alpha-actinin
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Intercellular adhesion-molecule 1
  • Macrophage
  • Neutrophil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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