The procoagulant activity observed in many types of tissue and cultured cells is due to tissue factor, a 30 kd transmembrane protein. The mRNA for tissue factor is a 2.2-kb species, which in some non-cancer cells can be up-regulated or induced by cytokines or by serum stimulation. In this study, induction of procoagulant activity in cancer cells was evaluated using the breast cancer cell line, MCF-7, and an adriamycin resistant subline, AdrRMCF-7, which has increased tumorigenicity in nude mice compared to the parental cell line. Procoagulant activity was factor VIIa dependent and was inhibited by an anti-tissue factor antibody. MCF-7 cells had minimal tissue factor activity, while AdrRMCF-7 cells had an 10-fold increase compared to the parental line. This increase was not observed in MCF-7 cells transfected with the multi-drug resistant gene, which is associated with adriamycin resistance. Serum stimulation of quiescent MCF-7 cells increased tissue factor activity 5-fold over baseline level, but did not increase activity in cells grown in serum-replete medium. Tissue factor activity of AdrRMCF-7 quiescent cells and AdrRMCF-7 cells grown in serum-replete medium was enhanced 2-fold by serum stimulation. The predominant tissue factor mRNA species in MCF-7 cells was a 3.2 to 3.4-kb band, which increased in response to serum stimulation of cells grown in serum-replete medium. The mature 2.2-kb tissue factor mRNA band was detected in quiescent MCF-7 cells within six hours of serum stimulation and remained present 24 hours after stimulation. Synthesis of the 2.2-kb tissue factor mRNA species in MCF-7 and AdrRMCF-7 cells correlated with appearance of procoagulant activity. Thus, while procoagulant activity correlates with the level of the 2.2-kb tissue factor mRNA species in these cancer cells, there are inherent differences in tissue factor activity, antigen, and mRNA levels, as well as in regulation of its synthesis between these cells.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Supported by Grants ROl HL 42822-04 and HL 29019 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.