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Alternatives to Laboratory Animals - ATLA

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Microarray Assessment of Fibronectin, Collagen and Integrin Expression and the Role of Fibronectin–Collagen Coating in the Growth of Normal, SV40 T-antigen-immortalised and Malignant Human Oral Keratinocytes


Zsolt Sarang, Ylva Haig, Annette Hansson, Martin Vondracek, Lars Wärngård and Roland C. Grafström

Extracellular matrix proteins affect the growth and survival of epithelial tissues. Accordingly, surface coating with fibronectin and collagen is a common practice for promoting keratinocyte culture. In this study, the expression of fibronectin and collagen-related factors, including integrins, by normal (NOK), SV40 T-antigen-immortalised (SVpgC2a) and malignant (SqCC/Y1) human oral keratinocytes, under standardised, serum-free conditions, was investigated by using microarray analysis. Cell growth was also studied in the presence and absence of a matrix consisting of human fibronectin and bovine collagen type I (FN–COL). Fibronectin transcripts were abundant in all cells, whereas 16 of 29 collagen chains and 14 of 24 integrin subunits were variably detected. With regard to both the expression level and the number of transcripts, higher collagen and lower integrin expression was observed in SVpgC2a cells than in NOKs and SqCC/Y1 cells. The cell types differed with regard to colony-forming efficiency and the rate and kinetics of growth at high cell density. For all cell types, FN–COL coating consistently stimulated cell migration, without influencing growth in mass culture or clonal density. The results demonstrate the transcription of genes associated with the formation and function of fibronectin and collagen in oral epithelium, and variably altered expression patterns in transformed states, and show that keratinocyte lines can be successfully transferred without the stimulus from extracellular FN–COL.