Microcell-mediated transfer of chromosome 6 into metastatic human C8161 melanoma cells suppresses metastasis but does not inhibit tumorigenicity

Danny R. Welch, Pengchin Chen, Mary E. Miele, Carl T. McGary, Jill M. Bower, Eric J. Stanbridge, Bernard E. Weissman

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148 Scopus citations


Structural alterations of chromosome 6, including del(6q), are often associated with metastatic melanoma; therefore, we hypothesized that a metastasis-suppressor gene could be coded on human chromosome 6. Highly metastatic C8161 human malignant melanoma cells exhibit chromosomal changes typical of late-stage melanomas. Using microcell-mediated chromosome transfer, a copy of a normal human chromosome 6 was introduced into C8161. Three randomly selected hybrid clones (neo6/C8161.1, neo6/C8161.2 and neo6/C8161.3) were assayed for metastasis in athymic nude mice. All controls - parental C8161 cells, randomly-selected single cell clones, neo-transfected cell clones, neo11/C8161.2 and neo11/C8161.3 - were tumorigenic (270/272 mice) and metastatic (208/272 mice). neo6/C8161 hybrid cells were still tumorigenic (91/93 mice) but were not metastatic (0/195 mice). The presence of the added chromosomes was verified in cultured and tumor cells by amplification of polymorphic (CA)n markers using PCR-RFLP. The neo6/C8161 hybrids display growth and morphological patterns of more differentiated cells than C8161. In Northern blot analysis an inverse relationship between metastatic ability and metastasis-suppressor gene, nm23-H1, expression is observed - with clone neo6/C8161.1 expressing the highest level of nm23 transcripts, neo6/C8161.2 and neo6/C8161.3 expressing intermediate levels, and barely detectable levels are seen in C8161. Collectively, these results suggest that a malignant melanoma metastasis-regulatory gene may be located on human chromosome 6. These results further demonstrate that tumorigenicity and metastatic ability are distinct phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)XXI-262
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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