Journal Article

Tumour regulation of fibroblast hyaluronan expression: a mechanism to facilitate tumour growth and invasion

M. Edward, C. Gillan, D. Micha and R.H. Tammi

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 26, issue 7, pages 1215-1223
Published in print July 2005 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online March 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Tumour regulation of fibroblast hyaluronan expression: a mechanism to facilitate tumour growth and invasion

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  • Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics


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Hyaluronan, a high molecular weight glycosaminoglycan is associated with cellular proliferation and migration. In a number of different tumour types, there is a close correlation between tumour progression and hyaluronan production, either by the tumour cells or the surrounding stromal cells. We have examined the ability of an aggressive melanoma cell line (C8161) to stimulate the synthesis of fibroblast hyaluronan, and the association of cell-surface CD44 receptors and hyaluronan with invasion. Melanoma cell-conditioned medium (CM) prepared in low glucose medium (1 mg/ml) stimulated the synthesis of fibroblast glycosaminoglycan as measured by [3H] glucosamine incorporation, and the synthesis of hyaluronan as measured using a specific hyaluronan-binding plate assay, while tumour cell-CM prepared in high glucose medium (4.5 mg/ml) inhibited the synthesis of fibroblast glycosaminoglycan. High glucose tumour cell-CM contained large amounts of lactate that appeared to inhibit the tumour-derived factor stimulation of fibroblast glycosaminoglycan synthesis, as removal of the lactate restored the stimulating activity. Melanoma cells seeded on contracted collagen lattices and incubated at the air/liquid interface rapidly formed a multilayered cell mass on the surface, with significant invasion of the gel. Hyaluronan staining was apparent within the collagen gel, and strong staining was seen around the invading tumour cells, but not around those cell layers near the surface. CD44 expression on the tumour cells was confined to those invading cells and corresponded to cellular hyaluronan staining. Hyaluronan staining was also apparent around and between tumour cells invading fibroblast-free collagen lattices. Monolayer cultures of C8161 cells stained strongly for CD44, but few cells stained for hyaluronan, while no detectable hyaluronan was released into the medium. In summary, the C8161 melanoma cells stimulated the synthesis of fibroblast hyaluronan, and in collagen lattices, only the invasive tumour cells expressed CD44 and hyaluronan, either in the presence or absence of fibroblasts.

Keywords: bHABP, biotinylated hyaluronic acid-binding protein; CM, conditioned medium; DMEM, Dulbecco's modified Eagle medium; MEM, minimal essential medium; PBS, Dulbecco's phosphate-buffered saline; SF, serum-free

Journal Article.  6019 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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