[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have derived a clonal cell line (HGCT-1) from a lymph node metastasis of a primary testicular germ cell tumor (GCT). The tumor was negative for the embryonal carcinoma (EC) cell marker BerH2 but positive for vimentin, cytokeratin (CK) and desmin. Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) revealed a high-level amplification at 12p that was observed in both the metastatic tumor and in the cultured HGCT-1 cells. In vitro, the phenotype of HGCT-1 cells was modulated by the culture conditions. In the presence of 10% fetal calf serum (FCS), the majority of HGCT-1 cells lacked CK and desmin. If cultured in 0.5% FCS, HGCT-1 cells acquired a uniform co-expression of vimentin, CK and desmin. Upon treatment with retinoic acid (RA), HGCT-1 cells lost the expression of desmin, but exhibited abundant CK filaments. Simultaneously, they started to express desmoplakin, form desmosomes and flatten on the culture substratum. The RA-induced changes were irreversible, whereas those following the culture in 0.5% FCS were at least partially reversible. When xenografted into an immunosuppressed rat, HGCT-1 cells formed a tumor consisting of epithelial- and mesenchymal-like structures. HGCT-1 cells thus represent a pluripotential cell system with a capacity for reversible phenotypic modulation and for irreversible differentiation into epithelial-type cells. The behavior of this novel cell line, distinct from established EC cell models, suggests a complex regulation of GCT cell differentiation.
International Journal of Cancer 09/1998; 77(5):710-9. · 5.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This work suggests that the amount of information included in biochemistry texts is artificially increased, because the knowledge presented contains tautologies that are obscured by the use of inappropriate methods of representation. The work then proposes alternative methods of representation for describing biochemical systems that are based on the dynamics of an idealized chemical open-flow system. They would clarify the fact, in an open system, the concentrations of the reactants and reaction products depend not only on the equilibrium constants but on the absolute velocities of the reactions as well. Similar rules apply to phenomena involving other processes, such as diffusion of ions. Biochemical systems are considered as a set of chemical flow systems in which individual processes have the potential for interactions if their end products influence the rate of other processes. These interactions are used to explain how biochemical systems maintain themselves in states of high order. By use of these formulations, some of the logical sequences by which biochemical principles can be deduced from the principles of chemistry can be given simple and illustrative expression.
The American journal of physiology 07/1995; 268(6 Pt 3):S40-8. · 3.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cyclosporin (CsA) is a potent immunosuppressive drug widely used in organ transplantation. We transplanted fresh surgical samples from human solid malignant tumours into 45 CsA-immunosuppressed rats. Eight out of nine tumour types grew and remained viable for 5 weeks or more in at least two of the transplanted rats. In 29 rats (64%) a distinct growth of primary human tumours was recorded. Five malignancies (intestinal-type gastric carcinoma, adenocarcinoma of the lung, lymph node metastasis of a testicular teratocarcinoma, soft tissue malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH), and small-cell sarcoma) showed invasive and progressive growth. In all five cases the largest tumours were 0.9 cm or over in diameter when the rats were killed 5-9 weeks after transplantation. In three cases (adenocarcinoma of the colon, hypernephroma, and a second MFH) the growth of the implants under the kidney capsule was slow, but small living tumour transplants were still found 3-6 weeks later. In every case the microscopic morphology of the xenograft tumour was identical with the original tumour. In two cases the primary xenografts (teratocarcinoma and small-cell sarcoma) were retransplanted into 11 CsA-immunosuppressed rats. In both types the second passage tumours grew, and the take-off and growth rates were comparable to the primary xenografts. Cyclosporin-treated laboratory rats are an alternative to immunodeficient nude and SCID mice for growing fresh human tumour transplants in vivo. Although a few infections were encountered, most of the rats survived the CsA treatment well for up to 2 months.
Scandinavian Journal of Immunology 07/1994; 39(6):618-24. · 1.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Secretion of proteolytic enzymes by cells has been implicated in tissue remodeling during embryonic development as well as in invasive neoplastic diseases. We studied the regulation of type-IV-collagenase activity in Tera 2 human embryonal carcinoma cells, which in the undifferentiated state proliferate rapidly and are tumorigenic. The undifferentiated cells produced relatively low levels of matrix-metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) activity. This activity was not markedly affected by exogenous basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) or 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA), even though the plasminogen activator activity of the cells was increased by these agents. Tera 2 cells can be induced by retinoic acid to differentiate into quiescent cells, of which many express neuronal characteristics. The type-IV-collagenase activity of the cells increased markedly during the differentiation. This increase was mainly due to increased expression of MMP-2. Expression of tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMP-1 and TIMP-2) was not markedly affected by the differentiation of Tera 2 cells. The results show that in the Tera 2 cell system, increased expression of MMP-2 is characteristic of the differentiated derivatives. This is in contrast with many other model systems, where increased type-IV-collagenase activity is associated with the malignant phenotype. This pattern of regulation may reflect the facts that Tera 2 cells resemble early embryonic cells and that their differentiation mimics related cell-differentiation processes in the developing embryo.
International Journal of Cancer 02/1994; 56(2):219-23. · 5.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rapidly growing human teratocarcinoma cells (Tera-2) can be induced to differentiate into quiescent, nontumorigenic cells expressing neuronal markers. To more closely mimic the in vivo conditions for tumor growth, we grew Tera-2 cells in three-dimensional collagen gel cultures. The undifferentiated cells proliferated in the gel, forming tight colonies. Addition of soluble fibroblast growth factor 1 or 2 (FGF1 or FGF2) into the gel resulted in scattering of single cells throughout the collagen gel. In a FGF gradient the cells moved rapidly toward a higher concentration. On the contrary, cells first differentiated for 8 days in retinoic acid died within a few days after transfer into the collagen gel. Alternatively, if retinoic acid was included in the collagen gel, the proliferating undifferentiated cells died after 4-5 days in the gel. This differentiation-related cell death was completely opposed by including FGF in the collagen gel. When placed in the FGF gradient, the fully differentiated cells survived at the areas of higher FGF concentration, but no more migrated. The survival of retinoic acid-differentiated Tera-2 cells in collagen was also mediated by direct contact with glioma cells or the heparan sulfate-rich portion of glioma or endothelial cell matrix. These effects on differentiated cells were sensitive to inhibition by affinity-purified anti-FGF2 IgG. Thus, FGF has the potential to act as a migration-inducing factor either in solution or, more likely, in vivo, as an immobilized, matrix-bound growth factor directing the movement of responsive cells. The development of differentiation-associated FGF dependency allows survival of the cells only at places where they are in close contact with either FGF-synthesizing cells or FGF-rich extracellular structures such as basement membranes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have analyzed the regulation of fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs) during retinoic acid (RA) induced differentiation of Tera-2 human embryonal carcinoma cells. Undifferentiated Tera-2 cells expressed mRNAs for all four known FGFRs. Their differentiation led to loss of FGFR-4 mRNA expression and mRNA levels for FGFR-2 and FGFR-3 were considerably downregulated, whereas the mRNA levels for FGFR-1 remained unaltered. A substantial decrease in binding of K-FGF was found to occur upon RA-induced differentiation of the cells. In undifferentiated Tera-2 cells FGF stimulation caused an increase of c-fos mRNA, and c-jun mRNAs, but no increase of junB mRNA, whereas in the differentiated cells, FGFs strongly stimulated the expression of all three genes. Thus differentiation of the Tera-2 cells leads to marked changes in FGFR gene expression as well as to complex alterations in their responses to exogenous FGFs.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 03/1993; 191(1):149-56. · 2.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human Tera 2 embryonal carcinoma cells switch gradually from rapidly growing undifferentiated cells to almost nonproliferating cells during retinoic acid (RA)-induced neuronal differentiation. This process is associated with the increased expression of type 1 plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI 1) mRNA, and the secreted inhibitor is immobilized to the pericellular area. Furthermore, the differentiation is accompanied by a decrease in the amount of both the secreted tissue-type PA (tPA) and the mainly cell-associated urokinase-type PA (uPA) activity. In RA-differentiated cells, uPA becomes localized at the vinculin-rich cell-substratum adhesion sites. Fibroblast growth factor activity has been associated with various events during embryonal growth and with the regulation of proteolytic enzymes. A short-term treatment of the undifferentiated Tera 2 cells with basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) increases uPA mRNA levels and the cell-associated uPA activity, whereas the secretory tPA activity decreases. bFGF induces PAI 1 mRNA expression in the undifferentiated cells, but unlike PAI 1 protein after RA-treatment, the inhibitor does not accumulate around the cells but is released in the medium. A similar exposure to bFGF has less effect on the RA-differentiated Tera 2 cells. Under these conditions bFGF treatment leads to an increase in the amounts of PAI 1 and uPA mRNAs, but no changes in the localization of these components can be seen. Differentiation of human embryonal carcinoma cells is thus connected with an altered response to bFGF.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Distinct F-actin- and myosin-containing stress fibers were observed in situ in many endoderm cells of parietal yolk sacs from 11-day mouse embryos. In visceral endoderm (VE) such fibers were not seen, and F-actin was concentrated in the cell periphery. Correspondingly, in electron microscopy ventral cell membrane-associated bundles of microfilaments were revealed in the periphery of parietal endoderm (PE) cells but not in VE cells. Both PE and VE cells formed stress fibers in primary cultures. Undifferentiated F9 embryonal carcinoma cells formed only short actin spikes and fibrils irrespective of growth substratum. In PE-like derivatives of F9 cells, on the other hand, distribution of F-actin was markedly affected by the growth substratum: They formed distinct stress fibers when plated on fibronectin but did not when plated on gelatin. Similarly, in teratocarcinoma-derived PE cells (PYS-2) adhesion to fibronectin induced the formation of distinct bundles of F-actin and plaques of vinculin. The results suggest that the susceptibility of teratocarcinoma cell actin cytoskeleton to the influence of molecular composition of surrounding matrix is developmentally regulated. On the other hand, the reason for the presence of stress fibers in PE cells and for their absence in VE cells is unclear.
Experimental Cell Research 11/1989; 184(2):388-95. · 3.37 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: F9 and PC13 embryonal carcinoma (EC) cells adhered rapidly to growth substrata coated with fibronectin or laminin. When F9 cells were induced to differentiate into visceral or parietal endoderm-like cells, their ability to adhere to laminin diminished, but their adherence to fibronectin remained unchanged. Correspondingly, permanently differentiated teratocarcinoma-derived endoderm cells (PYS-2 and PSA-5e) adhered markedly less efficiently to laminin than to fibronectin. F9 cells adhered to proteolytic fibronectin fragments containing the cell-binding site but not to fragments containing gelatin- or heparin-binding sites. They also adhered slowly to gelatin, but this adhesion was completely blocked by cycloheximide. The results show that the teratocarcinoma stem cells may have specific mechanisms mediating adhesion to fibronectin and laminin and that endodermal differentiation leads to a reduction in their capacity to adhere to laminin but not to fibronectin.
Experimental Cell Research 06/1989; 182(1):26-32. · 3.37 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Undifferentiated F9 embryonal carcinoma (EC) cells bound fluorochrome-coupled Helix pomatia agglutinins (HPA) and peanut agglutinins (PNA) homogeneously, but were distinctly heterogeneous in their binding of Dolichos biflorus agglutinin (DBA) conjugates. Upon chemically induced differentiation the proportion of cells binding the DBA conjugates increased, but a distinct heterogeneity in the intensity of binding remained among the parietal endoderm (PE)-like F9 derivatives. These cells were heterogeneous in their binding of HPA conjugates as well, and many of them failed to bind PNA conjugates, apparently due to sialylation of the PNA-binding sites. Electrophoretic analysis of lectin-binding glycoproteins in the detergent-soluble fraction of the cells revealed the appearance of a doublet of polypeptides of Mr 300,000-400,000 upon differentiation induced by retinoic acid (RA). In addition, an Mr 220,000 polypeptide appeared upon differentiation induced by RA and dibutyryl cyclic AMP (dbcAMP). These polypeptides were obtained from both metabolically labelled and surface-labelled cells. A major secreted glycoprotein, which comigrated with laminin, bound to DBA. This suggests that laminin secreted by the differentiated F9 derivatives contains O-glycosidic saccharides. The results show that even though differentiation of F9 cells leads to changes in their binding of fluorochrome-coupled lectins, these lectin conjugates reveal distinct population heterogeneity among undifferentiated and differentiated F9 cells and are hence likely to be of limited value in the characterization of individual cells. At the whole cell population level, on the other hand, affinity binding to lectins reveals the appearance of high-Mr cell surface proteins in differentiating F9 cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Embryonal carcinoma (EC) cells, which are the malignant stem cells of teratocarcinomas, are considered similar to early embryo cells. The EC cells can be grown in vitro, and many of them can be experimentally induced to differentiate; upon differentiation, the cells become benign. Here we review some of the changes that take place in the cellular and molecular characteristics of murine F9 EC cells as they differentiate into endodermal cells. Upon differentiation of F9 cells, distinct changes occur in their cell surface molecules, cytoskeleton-associated proteins and cell adhesion properties. Simultaneously, the rate of cell proliferation decreases due to a dramatic increase in duration of G1 and S phases of the cell cycle. The changes in gene expression and cell behavior occurring during endodermal differentiation of EC cells closely resemble those occurring when the endoderm differentiates in the embryo. Teratocarcinoma stem cell lines may thus be exploited to enhance understanding of both teratoma-type neoplasms and embryonic development.
The International Journal of Developmental Biology 04/1989; 33(1):105-15. · 2.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Murine F9 embryonal carcinoma cells exposed to retinoic acid and dibutyryl cyclic AMP gradually arborize and acquire a neuron-like morphology in monolayer culture. Whether F9 cells can be induced to differentiate into cells with features specific to neural cells is controversial. We analyzed the intermediate filament content and pericellular matrix proteins of F9 cells after exposing them to retinoic acid, dibutyryl cyclic AMP, and nerve growth factor. In long-term cultures, a great majority of the cells appeared neuron-like, but showed intra- and pericellular laminin and type IV collagen, and frequently cytokeratin filaments as well. Several monoclonal antibodies to neurofilaments did not react with these cells in immunofluorescence or immunoblotting, though they recognize either all or individual mouse neurofilament triplet proteins. Polyclonal antibodies to neurofilament proteins gave a diffuse, nonfibrillar, vinblastine-resistant fluorescence in the morphologically neuron-like cells, but in immunoblotting failed to reveal polypeptides compatible with neurofilament triplet proteins. In long-term cultures, most of the cells appeared to have partially or totally lost the intermediate filaments. This was confirmed with anti-IFA antibodies which normally react with all intermediate filament proteins. The F9-derived cells did not respond to nerve growth factor in any detectable way. We conclude that the morphologically neuron-like derivatives of F9 cells display characteristics of modified parietal endoderm-like cells and do not show unequivocal features of neural cells.