Journal Article

Absence of regular alpha2(I) collagen chains in colon carcinoma biopsy fragments.

I Pucci-Minafra, M Andriolo, L Basiricò, R Alessandro, C Luparello, C Buccellato, R Garbelli and S Minafra

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 19, issue 4, pages 575-584
Published in print April 1998 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online April 1998 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/19.4.575
Absence of regular alpha2(I) collagen chains in colon carcinoma biopsy fragments.

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The extracellular matrix (ECM) is known to play an active role in numerous biological processes such as differentiation, apoptosis and cancer. Extensive alterations of epithelial basement membranes and of interstitial ECM are known to occur during the progression of most invasive carcinomas. Collagen, which represents the major component of the interstitial ECM, is primarily involved in the stromal changes at the site of tumor cell invasion. We have previously described the occurrence in breast and colon cancer ECM of an oncofetal form of collagen, characterized by an acidic chain distinct from those of type I and III collagen. In the present paper, we bring evidence that alpha2(I) collagen chains in colon cancer tissues expressing the acidic chains, are either overmodified or absent, both as protein and as regular mRNA transcripts. The results obtained strongly suggest that: i) the disorganisation of the collagen architecture and the phenomenon of fibril dispersion, which accompanies the lysis of basement membrane, is not only due to the enzymatic degradation of the collagen fibres, but presumably also to changes of the collagen molecules deposited in the stroma; ii) the neosynthesis of collagen occurring at tumor-host interface is deeply deregulated, and therefore to be considered the result of altered collagen gene expression correlated with the tumor progression, rather than as a mere defensive reaction of the host cells.

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Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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