Human carcinoembryonic antigen functions as a general inhibitor of anoikis

Cancer Res. 2000 Jul 1;60(13):3419-24.


Human carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), a widely used tumor marker, and CEACAM6 [formerly nonspecific cross-reacting antigen (NCA)] are up-regulated in many types of human cancers, whereas family member CEACAM1 [formerly biliary glycoprotein (BGP)] is usually down-regulated. Deregulated overexpression of CEA/CEACAM6 but not CEACAM1 can inhibit the differentiation and disrupt the polarization and tissue architecture of many different types of cells. In this report, we show that CEA and CEACAM6, but not CEACAM1, markedly inhibit the apoptosis of cells when deprived of their anchorage to the extracellular matrix, a process known as anoikis. By blocking this tissue architecture surveillance mechanism, the architectural perturbation initiated by CEA/CEACAM6 can thus be maintained.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / physiology
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen / physiology*
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules*
  • Cell Line
  • Colorectal Neoplasms
  • Dogs
  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / cytology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / physiology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Rats
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Transfection


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • CEACAM6 protein, human
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Recombinant Proteins