Colorectal cancer cell adhesion attenuates Ad-E2F-1 mediated apoptosis

Celia Chao, Azemat Jamshidi-Parsian, Warner W. Wang, Kelly M. McMasters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background. The complex interplay of cell adhesion molecules, intracellular signaling, and tumor growth behavior have important implications for the failure of most conventional cancer therapies. Cell adhesion to the basement membrane has been shown to promote tumor cell survival. We hypothesize that the presence of matrix substrate contributes to chemoresistance through signaling via cell adhesion molecule. Materials and methods. RKO colorectal cancer cells express integrin β1 to adhere to substrate. We measured apoptosis of the cells after infection with adenovirus vector containing the transgene E2F-1 (Ad-E2F-1), a potent tumor suppressor gene, and Ad-LacZ (as control), both under the control of the cytomegalovirus promoter. Cells were plated on Matrigel, an extracellular substrate similar to basement membrane and compared to tissue culture plastic. Apoptosis was assessed by flow cytometry-based TUNEL assay and cell proliferation was assessed by WST-1 assay. E2F-1 expression was confirmed by Western blot analysis. A function-blocking anti-β1 integrin antibody was used to assess the contribution of β1 on cell survival. Results. At 120 h postinfection of RKO cells with 50 multiplicity of infection, cells plated on plastic underwent marked apoptosis in response to Ad-E2F-1 compared with Ad-LacZ control-treated cells (53% vs 1% apoptosis, respectively). However, when cells were plated on Matrigel, the same dose of E2F-1 was ineffective at inducing apoptosis (3% vs 1% apoptosis, comparing Ad-E2F-1 with Ad-LacZ control). The cell proliferation assay showed >3-fold cell survival in E2F-1-infected cells on Matrigel vs plastic (P < 0.004). By Western blot analysis, attenuation of apoptosis may be a result of reduction in transduction efficiency on Matrigel and function-blocking anti-β1 integrin antibody does not abolish the decrease in apoptosis afforded by Matrigel. Conclusions. These data suggest that escape from adenoviral E2F-1-mediated apoptosis, at least in part, is related to reduction of intracellular E2F-1 expression. Interactions involving cellular adhesion via β1 integrin to matrix proteins does not seem to contribute toward gene therapy resistance. Further studies will investigate other specific receptor-ligand interactions after gene and/or chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Cellular survival
  • Colorectal cancer cells
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Gene therapy resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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