Fibronectin alters the phenotypic properties of cultured chick embryo chondroblasts

Cell. 1979 Jul;17(3):491-501. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(79)90257-5.


The state of chick embryo chondroblasts in culture was found to be sensitive to both fibronectin and another substance(s) (activity A) which could be extracted from chick embryo fibroblasts with 1 M urea or from conditioned medium. In the presence of either of these activities at concentrations of 25-150 micrograms/ml, chondroblasts, which normally grow as mixed cultures of floating and adherent cells, all immediately became attached to the tissue culture dish and spread. After several days, the morphology of these typically epithelioid cells became fibroblastic. This did not involve a selection process, since the effect was reversible. The synthetic program of these cells was also dramatically modified: the cultures no longer synthesized the chondroblast-unique type IV sulfated proteoglycan and began synthesizing alpha 2 collagen chains typical of fibroblastic or early limb bud cells. Fibronectin was resolved from activity A by gelatin affinity chromatography or gel filtration. Both activities were trypsin-sensitive. The two activities differed, however, on the basis of how the protein fractions in which they were found migrated in SDS-polyacrylamide gels, their specific activities and their effects on cell morphology and cell growth.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cartilage / cytology
  • Cartilage / drug effects*
  • Cartilage / metabolism
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chick Embryo
  • Fibronectins / pharmacology*
  • Phenotype
  • Proteoglycans / biosynthesis


  • Fibronectins
  • Proteoglycans