Gap junction assembly and endocytosis correlated with patterns of growth in a cultured adrenocortical tumor cell (SW-13)

Cancer Res. 1981 Oct;41(10):4063-74.


After seeding at subconfluent densities, human adrenocortical adenocarcinoma cells (SW-13) proliferate to form a typical epithelial monolayer upon the culture vessel substratum. Single cells of the confluent monolayer are spontaneously released into the medium, however, where they may remain isolated or reaggregate with other floating cells. In this study, we examined the growth patterns of these cells in culture and analyzed alterations of their most prominent intercellular contact specialization, the gap junction, as cellular relationship changed during growth and development of the cell culture. We report here details of gap junction assembly during cellular aggregation and correlate the apparent endocytosis of gap junctions with the spontaneous release of single cells from the monolayer into the medium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / ultrastructure*
  • Adrenal Cortex Neoplasms / ultrastructure*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endocytosis*
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Junctions / ultrastructure*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning