Tumor formation dependent on proteoglycan biosynthesis

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Science  26 Aug 1988:
Vol. 241, Issue 4869, pp. 1092-1096
DOI: 10.1126/science.3137658


The role proteoglycans play in tumor formation was examined by measuring the tumorigenicity of proteoglycan-deficient Chinese hamster ovary cell mutants in nude mice. When 10(7) cells were injected subcutaneously, mutants with less than about 15% of the wild-type level of proteoglycan synthesis did not produce tumors. Mutants defective in the synthesis of heparan sulfate proteoglycans also did not form tumors, whereas mutants with altered chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans were tumorigenic. Tumors arose from mixtures of wild-type and nontumorigenic mutant cells and contained both cell types, suggesting that wild-type cell proteoglycans enabled mutant cells to survive. The failure of heparan sulfate-deficient mutants to form tumors depended on the ability of the host to mount a B cell-mediated immune reaction.