Tumorigenic and metastatic properties of 'normal' and ras-transfected NIH/3T3 cells

R. G. Greig, T. P. Koestler, D. L. Trainer, S. P. Corwin, L. Miles, T. Kline, R. Sweet, S. Yokoyama, G. Poste

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129 Scopus citations


To investigate the role of oncogene activation in the pathogenesis of malignant tumors, we have studied the tumorigenic and metastatic properties of NIH/3T3 secondary transfectants (designated A51) containing an activated c-Ha-ras-I gene derived from the human T24 bladder carcinoma cell line and compared them with untransfected NIH/3T3 cells. Whereas subcutaneous implantation of NIH/3T3 cells in the supraclavicular region produced palpable tumors that failed to metastasize, NIH/3T3 cells inoculated in the footpad gave rise to malignant tumors that metastasized to the lung. Under identical conditions and irrespective of the site of implantation, A51 cells formed rapidly growing primary tumors that produced pulmonary metastases. In an assay for experimental metastasis, intravenously injected NIH/3T3 cells gave rise to pulmonary nodules only at high cell inocula and in long-term survivors (90 days after injection). In contrast, A51 cells formed multiple lung tumor colonies detectable 14 days after injection. These results indicate that 'normal' untransfected NIH/3T3 cultures contain subpopulations of cells that express malignant properties and that transfection of NIH/3T3 cells with activated c-Ha-ras-1 accelerates formation of metastases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3698-3701
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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