Clinical and experimental evidence suggest that circulating carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) released from tumor cells has an instrumental role in colorectal cancer-liver metastasis. However, the precise mechanism of the regulation of the CEA release from cancer cells is not known. We investigated if the rate of CEA and another GPI-anchored protein, alkaline phosphatase (AP) release is correlated with cellular glycosylphosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase D (GPI-PLD) expression. We also evaluated the effects of phosphatidic acid (PA), a compound known to inhibit GPI-PLD activity, on the CEA and AP release from colon cancer cells. The expression of CEA, GPI-PLD, and AP in five colon carcinoma cells (LS180, Caco2, SW742, SW1116, and HT29/219) was verified by immunoblot and real-time RT-PCR analysis. The amounts of CEA and AP released into cell culture media were determined using ELISA and a colorimetric assay, respectively. We examined the effects of PA (20–100 μM) on CEA and AP release from LS180 cells. All five cancer cell lines analyzed expressed GPI-PLD protein. While there was a positive relationship between AP release and the levels of GPI-PLD transcript expression, we found no direct correlation between CEA released from cancer cells and the GPI-PLD mRNA expression level. However, the rate of CEA release was positively associated with the level of CEA transcript expression. In comparison to controls, the release of GPI-anchored CEA and AP, but not CA19-9 was inhibited significantly by both crude and pure phosphatidic acid (by 56 and 54.5%, respectively). Using PA for inhibiting CEA release from cancer cells may have therapeutic application in preventing CRC-liver metastasis.
Alkaline phosphatase CEA secretion Colorectal cancer-liver metastasis GPI-PLD
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This work contains parts of the doctoral thesis of Abbas Pakdel. The authors would like to thank Dr. Mahmood Vessal for careful reading of the manuscript. This study was supported by a grant from the Vice Chancellor for Research, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences.
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