Hyaluronan mediates adhesion of metastatic colon carcinoma cells

Chad Laurich, Marie A. Wheeler, Joji Iida, Cheryl L. Neudauer, James B. McCarthy, Kelli M. Bullard

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42 Scopus citations


Hyaluronan (HA) is a cell-surface glycosaminoglycan that has been implicated in cancer progression. Cells isolated from metastatic colon carcinoma (SW620) produce greater amounts of pericellular HA than cells isolated from a primary tumor (SW480). Inhibition of hyaluronan synthases (HAS) by transfection with antisense cDNA decreases HA production. Because adhesion to the extracellular matrix (ECM) is required for invasion and metastasis, we hypothesized that pericellular HA mediates adhesion to ECM proteins such as laminin, collagen, and fibronectin and that inhibition of HA production or removal of HA by digestion with hyaluronidase would impair adhesion. SW480, SW620, and antisense transfectants (SW620 cells transfected with vector alone, antisense HAS2, antisense HAS3, and both antisense HAS2 and HAS3) were assessed for adhesion to laminin, Type 1 collagen, or fibronectin-coated plates. To confirm that adhesion was mediated by HA, cells were treated with or without hyaluronidase prior to the assays. Metastatic SW620 cells adhered well to laminin; SW480 cells demonstrated 46% less adhesion (P < 0.05; Student's t test). SW620 cell adhesion to Type 1 collagen and fibronectin was >50% less than adhesion to laminin. Inhibition of HAS2 and/or HAS3 or pretreatment with hyaluronidase significantly decreased adhesion of SW620 cells to laminin (P < 0.05), suggesting that adhesion was dependent upon pericellular HA. Metastatic SW620 cells that produce large amounts of pericellular HA adhered well to laminin. Inhibition of HAS2 and/or HAS3 expression, or hyaluronidase digestion of pericellular HA significantly inhibited adhesion. These data suggest that HA promotes adhesion to laminin and may thereby facilitate invasion of the basement membrane and metastasis in colon carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-74
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the Minnesota Medical Foundation Student Research Award (C.L.), the Department of Defense grant DA/DAMD 17-02-1-0102 (J.B.M.), the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Ladies Auxiliary Cancer Research Center Endowment Fund (K.M.B.), the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons Career Development Award (K.M.B.), and the Society of University Surgeons Foundation Junior Faculty Award (K.M.B.).

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • adhesion
  • colon carcinoma
  • colorectal cancer
  • extracellular matrix
  • hyaluronan
  • hyaluronan synthase
  • laminin


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