Cell surface immunophenotype and gelatinase activity of the human breast carcinoma cell line (MCF-7/6) with functionally defective E-cadherin

Neoplasma. 1999;46(1):12-6.


Expression of differentiation and adhesion cell surface antigens (LewisX - CD15, CD44, syndecan 1 - CD138 and basigin/EMMPRIN - CD147) were determined on the cell surface of human breast carcinoma MCF7 cells in vitro with the aid of flow cytometry and compared with that of MCF-7/6 cells, with functionally defective E-cadherin system and increased biological aggressiveness. The major cell surface alterations in MCF-7/6 cells compared with the parental MCF-7 cell line were a markedly increased CD15 (LewisX) and CD44 antigen cell surface expression on MCF-7/6 cells. There were no major differences between parental MCF-7 and MCF-7/6 cells in cell surface syndecan 1, basigin/EMMPRIN, E-cadherin and high affinity non-integrin laminin receptor expression. The constitutive cell surface gelatinase A and B activities were absent on MCF-7 and faint in MCF-7/6 cells. Both phorbol ester TPA and tumor necrosis factor TNF-alpha induced a marked up-regulation of gelatinase B only in MCF-7/6 cells. No marked differences in penetration of MCF-7 vs. MCF-7/6 cells into collagen/fibroblast matrix in vitro were observed. The increased expression of CD15 (LewisX), CD44 antigen and TNF-alpha-inducible gelatinase B on MCF-7/6 cells may represent auxiliary factors contributing to the increased biological aggressiveness of MCF-7/6 cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Surface / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Cadherins / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Gelatinases / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronan Receptors / metabolism
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Lewis X Antigen / metabolism
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Up-Regulation


  • Antigens, Surface
  • Cadherins
  • Hyaluronan Receptors
  • Lewis X Antigen
  • Gelatinases