In situ immunocytochemical detection of altered membrane composition induced by cell–cell contact in cultured mammalian cells

Authors

  • Wei Du,

    1. Tumor Biology Section, Department of Pathology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157
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  • Zheng Cui,

    1. Tumor Biology Section, Department of Pathology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157
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  • Zhao-Chun Tsui,

    1. Tumor Biology Section, Department of Pathology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157
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  • Qirui Chen,

    1. Tumor Biology Section, Department of Pathology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157
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  • Mark C. Willingham

    Corresponding author
    1. Tumor Biology Section, Department of Pathology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157
    • Department of Pathology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA
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Abstract

In cultured mammalian cells, both normal and transformed, cell–cell contact was shown to alter the detergent extractability of nuclear and plasma membranes detected using immunocytochemistry of fixed cells. This alteration occurred in each cell individually, occurred in less than 1 hour after altered cell–cell contact, and did not involve new protein or mRNA synthesis. These results indicate that composition of cellular membranes is highly affected by cell–cell contact and culture density. This suggests a possible role for alterations in membrane composition in the regulation of normal cell behavior, including signaling of contact inhibition of growth and movement, behaviors that are not effectively regulated by cell–cell contact in malignantly transformed cells. Microsc. Res. Tech., 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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