Decreased PKC-alpha expression increases cellular proliferation, decreases differentiation, and enhances the transformed phenotype of CaCo-2 cells
Previous studies have shown that PKC-alpha protein expression is decreased in sporadic human colon cancers, as well as in colonic tumors of rats induced by chemical carcinogens. To elucidate the potential role of PKC-alpha on several phenotypic characteristics of colon cancer cells, we have transfected cDNAs for PKC-alpha in sense or antisense orientations into CaCo-2 cells, a human colonic adenocarcinoma cell line. Transfected clones were isolated that demonstrated approximately 3-fold
... s (sense transfectants) and approximately 95% decreases (antisense transfectants) in PKC-alpha expression with no significant alterations in other PKC isoforms. Transfection of CaCo-2 cells with PKC-alpha in the antisense orientation resulted in enhanced proliferation and decreased differentiation, as well as in a more aggressive transformed phenotype compared with empty vector-transfected control cells. In contrast, cells transfected with PKC-alpha cDNA in the sense orientation demonstrated decreased proliferation, enhanced differentiation, and an attenuated tumor phenotype compared with these control cells. These data show that alterations in the expression of PKC-alpha induce changes in the proliferation, differentiation, and tumorigenicity of CaCo-2 cells. Furthermore, these findings indicate that loss of PKC-alpha expression in sporadic human and chemically induced colonic cancers may confer a relative growth advantage during colonic malignant transformation.