Enterocytic differentiation of a subpopulation of the human colon tumor cell line HT-29 selected for growth in sugar-free medium and its inhibition by glucose
Article first published online: 4 FEB 2005
Copyright © 1985 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Journal of Cellular Physiology
Volume 122, Issue 1, pages 21–29, January 1985
How to Cite
Zweibaum, A., Pinto, M., Chevalier, G., Dussaulx, E., Triadou, N., Lacroix, B., Haffen, K., Brun, J.-L. and Rousset, M. (1985), Enterocytic differentiation of a subpopulation of the human colon tumor cell line HT-29 selected for growth in sugar-free medium and its inhibition by glucose. J. Cell. Physiol., 122: 21–29. doi: 10.1002/jcp.1041220105
- Issue published online: 4 FEB 2005
- Article first published online: 4 FEB 2005
- Manuscript Accepted: 23 JUL 1984
- Manuscript Received: 30 APR 1984
In order to study the effect of glucose on the differentiation of cultured human colon cancer cells, a subpopulation of HT-29 cells was selected for its capacity to grow in the total absence of sugar. These cells (GIc−cells) exhibit, after confluency, an enterocytic differentiation, in contrast to cells grown with glucose (Glc+ cells), which always remain undifferentiated. The differentiation is characterized by a polarization of the cell layer with apical brush borders and tight junctions, and by the presence of sucrase-isomaltase. The differentiation of Glc−cells is reversible: the addition of glucose to postcon-fluent cultures of Glc− cells results in an inhibiting effect on the expression of sucrase-isomaltase; switching growing cultures of Glc−cells to the Glc+ medium for several passages results in a progressive reversion to the undifferentiated state, which is completed after seven passages. The dedifferentiation process is associated with a parallel, passage-related, increase in the rates of glucose consumption and lactic acid production, and decreases of intracellular glycogen content, which return to the values of the undifferentiated original Glc+ cells. The values of these metabolic parameters are correlated, at each passage, with the degree of dedifferentiation of the cells. When these dedifferentiated cells, after having been cultured in Glc+ medium for 20 passages, are switched back to the Glc− medium, they readily grow without mortality, and reexpress the same enterocytic differentiation as the parent Glc− cells. These results show that the capacity of this subpopulation to grow and differentiate in the absence of sugar is a stable characteristic. They further suggest that glucose metabolism interferes with the program of differentiation of HT-29 cells.