Different metastatic potentials of ras- and src-transformed BALB/c 3T3 A31 variant cells

Mol Carcinog. 1996 Apr;15(4):300-8. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1098-2744(199604)15:4<300::AID-MC7>3.0.CO;2-J.


The metastatic phenotype of tumor cells is thought to be induced by an aberrant signaling cascade or cascades that are different from those required for tumorigenicity. Oncogene-transfected cells with different tumorigenicities and metastatic potentials have been used to identify such pathways and responsible molecules. However, oncogenes that can induce tumorigenicity in recipient cells also frequently induce the metastatic phenotype at the same time. The difficulty in obtaining cell lines that are tumorigenic but not metastatic has hampered such studies. In this report, we transfected the activated c-Ha-ras oncogene into BALB/c 3T3 A31 variant cells and found that the transfectants were tumorigenic but they did not form metastatic lung modules in the experimental metastasis assay. The phenotype was very stable and was maintained during cultivation. On the other hand, the metastatic potentials of either the transfected cells or the original variant cells could be induced by transfection of the v-src oncogene. The src transfectants formed extensive nodules in lung when injected into the tail veins of congeneric mice. The cell motility of the metastatic src transfectants on Matrigel-coated dishes was greater than that of the ras transfectants. The src transfectants were also invasive in Matrigel when analyzed on a filter. These variant cells transformed by the ras and src oncogenes will be a useful system for identifying the signaling cascades responsible for the metastatic potential of tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells / cytology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic*
  • Genes, ras*
  • Genes, src*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Metastasis*
  • Ultraviolet Rays