We investigated the effect of an activated c-erbB-2 gene (also known as ERBB2) on metastatic potential. The c-erbB-2 gene was activated by mutation of the valine at position 659 within the transmembrane domain to glutamic acid. The activated c-erbB-2 expression vector was transfected into low-metastatic-po-tential NL-4 cells, which were established from a metastatic variant of murine colon adenocarcinoma 26. All 10 clones produced lung metastases in BALB/c mice injected via the tail vein. Eight of the 10 clones expressed messenger RNA (mRNA) of activated c-erbB-2 and showed morphological alteration; seven of the eight produced significantly enhanced experimental metastatic activity compared with that of untransfected NL-4 or NL-4neo cells, and one had metastatic ability similar to that of NL-4 cells. Two clones did not express c-erbB-2 mRNA and did not show morphological alteration or highly metastatic phenotype. Five of the 10 clones subcutaneously implanted in the flank failed to produce metastasis in the lungs or other organs of the mice. The metastatic ability of the other five clones was not determined. These results indicate that the activated c-erbB-2 gene can enhance experimental but not spontaneous metastatic potential in NL-4 cells, suggesting participation of the gene in the metastatic process after initial arrest and lodgement in the capillary bed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research