The use of cell fusion to analyse factors involved in tumour cell metastasis

Int J Cancer. 1983 Oct 15;32(4):471-8. doi: 10.1002/ijc.2910320414.


Cell fusion has been used to study some of the factors involved in the process of metastasis. Highly metastatic rat mammary adenocarcinoma cells were fused with various non-metastatic cells and the hybrid clones isolated. These were then tested for their metastatic potential either by injecting the cells intravenously and measuring lung colony formation or by injecting the cells subcutaneously and measuring their ability to form lymphatic metastases. With most hybrid clones tested, the metastatic potential was either inhibited or greatly suppressed; thus this phenotype is a recessive characteristic. We also monitored the hybrid cells' ability to produce plasminogen activator (PA) a serine proteinase thought to be involved in the formation of metastatic lung foci. Whilst the highly metastatic parent cells produced large quantities of PA, none could be detected in the non-metastatic lines. Although the hybrid clones produced little PA activity this could not be correlated with their decreased metastatic potential in that one clone, after extensive in vitro culture, reverted to a more metastatic line without a concomitant increase in PA activity. The suppressed PA activity may be due to the presence of an inhibitor that is spontaneously produced by the hybrid cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Animals
  • Cell Fusion*
  • Female
  • Hybrid Cells / metabolism
  • Hybrid Cells / ultrastructure*
  • Karyotyping
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Phenotype
  • Plasminogen Activators / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344


  • Plasminogen Activators