Actin cytoskeletal lesions in differentiated human colon carcinoma Caco-2 cells after exposure to soybean agglutinin

Biol Cell. 1989;65(1):29-35.


We have investigated the effects of soybean agglutinin on the cytoskeletal element actin in differentiated Caco-2 cells. The actin cytoskeleton of the cells was visualized by fluorescence microscopy using 7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1, 3-diazole phallacidin as a specific marker for F-actin. Compared with control Caco-2 cells no changes in the fluorescence pattern were observed after incubation with soybean agglutinin. However, using the deoxyribonuclease-I inhibition assay a dose-related response was noted in the increase of intracellular G-actin after a 2-hour incubation period with soybean agglutinin. Already after exposure for 15 min to soybean agglutinin a decrease in intracellular F-actin was demonstrable. This apparent depolymerization could be prevented by incubating the Caco-2 cells with soybean agglutinin and the appropriate monosaccharide simultaneously. The increase in the amount of G-actin appeared to be correlated with a shortening of microvilli on the Caco-2 cells.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / analysis*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / ultrastructure*
  • Cytoskeleton / drug effects
  • Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure*
  • Humans
  • Lectins / pharmacology*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods
  • Microvilli / drug effects
  • Microvilli / ultrastructure
  • Plant Lectins
  • Soybean Proteins*
  • Soybeans
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / ultrastructure*


  • Actins
  • Lectins
  • Plant Lectins
  • Soybean Proteins
  • soybean lectin