Recognition of N-glycosidic carbohydrates on esophageal carcinoma cells by macrophage cell line THP-1

Am J Pathol. 1990 Aug;137(2):393-401.


Cell-to-cell contact between macrophages and tumor cells is an important initial reaction in a host defense mechanism against tumor cells. The authors have studied cell surface components of human esophageal carcinoma cells recognized by macrophages. Superoxide release from THP-1 cells, a human macrophage cell line, was analyzed in their interaction with a battery of human squamous cell carcinoma cell lines (TE) originated from esophageal cancer patients. The macrophage-triggering ability of TE 1 cell line, a high stimulant, was reduced after treatment with trypsin or tunicamycin, an inhibitor of N-glycosidic glycosylation. Addition of monosaccharides was efficient in competitive inhibition of these cellular interaction. Moreover, con-A-resistant mutation of TE 1 cells was found to reduce their macrophage-triggering ability, associated with increase of L-PHA-binding capacity, suggesting substitution to the GlcNAc beta(1----6)-linked lactosamine antenna in N-glycosidic carbohydrates. These findings suggest that terminal residues of N-glycosidic carbohydrates on some esophageal carcinoma cells may contribute to the recognition sites of macrophages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / analysis
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Cell Communication / drug effects
  • Cell Communication / physiology
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Membrane / analysis
  • Concanavalin A / pharmacology
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / analysis
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Glycosides / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / analysis
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Macrophages / pathology*
  • Monosaccharides / pharmacology
  • Phytohemagglutinins / metabolism
  • Superoxides / metabolism
  • Trypsin / pharmacology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / analysis
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / drug effects
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / pathology
  • Tunicamycin / pharmacology


  • Glycosides
  • Monosaccharides
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • Concanavalin A
  • Superoxides
  • Tunicamycin
  • Trypsin