Organ distribution of experimental metastases of a human colorectal carcinoma injected in nude mice
Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA)-binding cellular glycoproteins produced by HT-29 human colon carcinoma and its variant cells established from liver metastases in nude mice after intrasplenic injection were analyzed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. On 5.5% polyacrylamide gels five major sialoglycoproteins (approximate Mr 115,000, 145,000, 190,000, 450,000, and 740,000) reactive with WGA were common to the parental and metastatic sublines. There was an additional component of Mr approximately 900,000 that was prominent in cells established from liver metastases. Specific removal of sialic acid from the glycoproteins eliminated WGA binding, indicating that all the WGA-binding glycoproteins including the Mr 900,000 component were sialoglycoproteins. Smith degradation following mild acid hydrolysis resulted in formation of WGA-binding carbohydrate chains on Mr 115,000, 145,000, 190,000, and 900,000 components, but not on Mr 450,000 and 740,000 components, which indicated that these two sialoglycoproteins bore different oligosaccharides from the other sialoglycoproteins. The Mr 900,000 component was more prominent with HT-29 cells growing in nude mice than those growing in vitro. WGA binding to the Mr 900,000 component of metastasis-derived HT-29 cells growing in a nude mouse was higher than that of parental cells growing in nude mice. The expression in liver metastases derived from parental as well as metastatic cells was higher than the primary tumor growing in the spleen of the same mouse, indicating that the levels of Mr 900,000 sialoglycoprotein (SGP = 900) were regulated by intrinsic and environmental factors. The influence of organ microenvironmental factors was confirmed by analyzing sialoglycoproteins of HT-29 cells growing in the liver of a nude mouse following intrahepatic injection. Analyses of human colorectal carcinoma tissues and liver metastases revealed a polydisperse WGA-reactive high-molecular-weight component similar to that seen in tumors growing in nude mice. The mean value of WGA binding to high-molecular-weight glycoproteins in the primary tumors of stage B1 patients was smaller than that of all other primary tumors. Comparison of primary tumors with liver metastases from the same patients indicated that the level of SGP-900-like high-molecular-weight glycoproteins in metastases was not always higher than those in primary tumors.