Restoration of normal morphology, adhesion and cytoskeleton in transformed cells by addition of a transformation-sensitive surface protein

Cell. 1977 May;11(1):115-26. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(77)90322-1.


Transformed cells lack a large, external, transformation-sensitive (LETS) glycoprotein which is a major surface component of their normal counterparts. Addition of LETS glycoprotein isolated from normal cells to transfomed cells restores certain morphological features and adhesive properties characteristic of normal cells. LETS protein is detected on the cell surface both by iodination using lactoperoxidase and by immunofluorescent staining. The surface distribution pattern detected by immunofluorescence is strikingly similar to that of normal cells. After addition of LETS protein, transformed cells also exhibit well defined actin cables which are not seen in untreated, transformed cells. All these alterations can be blocked by treating LETS protein with specific antisera or by subjecting it to mild trypsinization prior to addition to transformed cells. The effects are rapidly reversible by mild trypsinization, which removes the added LETS protein. The high rate of uptake of 2-deoxyglucose, characteristic of transformed cells, is not affected by LETS protein. These results suggest that LETS protein may have a role in cell attachment and spreading, and affect the organization of cytoskeleton.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / analysis
  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / drug effects*
  • Chick Embryo
  • Cricetinae
  • Deoxyglucose / metabolism
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Glycoproteins / pharmacology*
  • Membrane Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Trypsin


  • Actins
  • Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Deoxyglucose
  • Trypsin