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Cell Growth & Differentiation, Vol 6, Issue 9 1045-1052, Copyright © 1995 by American Association of Cancer Research


ARTICLES

Transfected cathepsin D stimulates high density cancer cell growth by inactivating secreted growth inhibitors

E Liaudet, D Derocq, H Rochefort and M Garcia
Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale, Unite Hormones et Cancer, U 148, Montpellier, France.

Cathepsin D, a lysosomal protease, is overexpressed in primary breast cancer and associated with increased risk of metastasis. We have shown previously by transfection in rat tumor cells that overexpression of cathepsin D increased both experimental metastasis in nude mice and in vitro proliferation under low-serum conditions. In this study, we used the transfected cell lines to investigate the mechanism by which cathepsin D prevents density-dependent arrest of cell proliferation. This effect was not associated with a general alteration of cell-substratum or cell-cell adhesiveness. As shown by coculture and conditioned media experiments, control cells reaching saturation density released inhibitory activity that was able to prevent the growth of control or cathepsin D transfectants and decreased the cloning efficiency of normal rat kidney fibroblasts in agar. By contrast, in media from two cathepsin D-transfected cell lines, this inhibitory activity was markedly reduced. Cathepsin D overexpression did not affect cell sensitivity to the inhibitor but modified the secretion of several proteins. The increase in cell density appeared to be due to intracellular maturation of cathepsin D since it was reversed by amine treatment that neutralizes the pH of acidic compartments within the cells. Moreover, the addition of secreted pro-cathepsin D was unable to increase the saturation density of control clones. Finally, the inhibitory factor was partially characterized as a heat-labile, secreted protein. We conclude that cathepsin D overexpression increases the growth of cancer cells to a higher density via an intracellular mechanism, leading to a decreased secretion of growth inhibitor(s).


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HOME HELP FEEDBACK SUBSCRIPTIONS ARCHIVE SEARCH TABLE OF CONTENTS
Cancer Research Clinical Cancer Research
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention Molecular Cancer Therapeutics
Molecular Cancer Research Cell Growth & Differentiation
Copyright © 1995 by the American Association of Cancer Research.