Expression of GM3 microdomains on the surfaces of murine fibroblasts correlates with inhibition of cell proliferation.
ABSTRACT The expression and surface distribution of monosialoganglioside GM3 on the plasma membranes of NIH3T3 fibroblasts cultured at semiconfluence were analyzed by immunofluorescence as well as by immunogold electron microscopy on thin sections and surface replicas. The GM3 expression was highly variable from cell to cell and the distribution of the ganglioside on the positive cells appeared punctate. Quantitative immunogold electron microscopy showed the existence of well-defined GM3 clusters of different sizes scattered all over the cell surfaces. Double immunofluorescence analysis of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine incorporation to identify proliferating cells and of GM3 expression indicated that most of the GM3-positive cells appear unable to synthesize DNA and demonstrated a growth-dependent expression of GM3.