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We have examined the interaction between collagen binding and epithelial differentiation by using a human colon carcinoma cell line (SW1222) that can differentiate structurally when grown in a three-dimensional collagen gel to form glandular structures. As much as 66% inhibition of glandular differentiation can be achieved by addition to the culture of a synthetic peptide (2 mg/ml) containing the Arg-Gly-Asp-Thr (RGDT) sequence, which is a cell recognition site found in collagen. Arg-Gly-Asp-Thr also inhibited the cell attachment to collagen-coated plates. A control peptide containing the Arg-Gly-Glu-Thr (RGET) sequence had no effect on cell adhesion or cell differentiation. Chromosome 15 was found in all human-mouse hybrid clones [from a cross between SW1222 and a mouse rectal carcinoma cell line (CMT-93)] that could differentiate in the collagen gel and bind collagen. Both binding to collagen and glandular differentiation of the hybrid cells were also inhibited by Arg-Gly-Asp-Thr as for the parent cell line SW1222. The ability of SW1222 cells to express the differentiated phenotype appears, therefore, to be determined by an Arg-Gly-Asp-directed collagen receptor on the cell surface that is controlled by a gene on chromosome 15.

Original publication




Journal article


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Publication Date





5561 - 5565


Animals, Cell Differentiation, Cell Division, Chromosomes, Human, Pair 15, Collagen, Colonic Neoplasms, Humans, Hybrid Cells, Oligopeptides, Phenotype, Receptors, Cell Surface, Receptors, Collagen, Tumor Cells, Cultured