Altered Actin Cytoskeletal Patterns in Two Premalignant Stages in Human Colon Carcinoma Development

Eileen Friedman, Martin Lipkin, Michael Verderame, Robert Pollack

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17 Scopus citations


Primary culture of human colonic biopsies converts the single cell thick epithelial layer from a highly indented sheet in vivo into a flat patch on the surface of a Petri dish. Migration of cells from biopsies in a continuous sheet to form the patch cultures allows the cultured cells in large part to retain the junctional complexes and membrane interdigitations which connect adjacent cells in vivo and therefore to maintain their spatial relationships to neighboring cells. Migration of the cells onto a flat surface also allows visualization of their actin cables (E. Friedman, M. Verderame, S. Winawer, and R. Pollack, Cancer Res., 44:3040-3050,1984). Actin organization patterns have been studied in primary patch cultures of colonic epithelial cells from four stages in the development of colon cancer: normal tissue, normal-appearing but preneoplastic cells characteristic of familial polyposis patients, benign tumors or adenomas from familial polyposis patients, and benign and malignant tumors from patients in the general population. Carcinomas exhibited the least number of actin cables, while adenomas contained the greatest concentration. Similar actin patterns were seen in both familial polyposis and nonpoly-posis adenomas. The preneoplastic prebenign tumor stage characteristic of familial polyposis patients had less actin cables than either normal cells or benign tumor cells. Thus actin organization loss characterized the transition from the normal colonic epithelial cell to the preneoplastic nontumor cell. The ability to form actin cables was then regained with the transition from the preneoplastic pretumor cell to the benign tumor cell and lost again with the benign tumor to malignant tumor transition. The complexity of these changes in actin organization during the step-wise transformation of colonic epithelial cells was not predicted from the simple model of actin cable loss accompanying fibroblast transformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3236-3242
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 1985

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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