The expression of the molecular chaperone calnexin is decreased in cancer cells grown as colonies compared to monolayer

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 Sep 8;238(1):66-70. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.1997.7238.


Differential display was used to identify genes which were differentially expressed when HT-29 human colon adenocarcinoma cells were grown as monolayers attached to plastic or as colonies in soft agarose. One of the gel bands differentially displayed corresponded to a 171 bp fragment that showed 99% identity with a sequence of mRNA for human calnexin. The decrease in calnexin gene expression by HT-29 cells growing as colonies in soft agarose was confirmed by reverse transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR) using calnexin-specific primers. We also used RT-PCR to show that the expression of calnexin was decreased in HT-29 cells and MCF-7 human breast adenocarcinoma cells growing in suspension in poly(hydroxyethyl methacrylate)-coated wells compared to cells growing as monolayers. The results suggest that there is a signal for the up-regulation of calnexin expression when cells contact a substrate which allows cell adhesion.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Base Sequence
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Calnexin
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Colonic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • DNA, Complementary / analysis
  • Humans
  • Molecular Chaperones / biosynthesis*
  • Molecular Chaperones / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polyhydroxyethyl Methacrylate
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tumor Stem Cell Assay


  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Molecular Chaperones
  • Calnexin
  • Polyhydroxyethyl Methacrylate