Original Article

British Journal of Cancer (1978) 38, 100–105. doi:10.1038/bjc.1978.168 www.bjcancer.com
Published July 1978

Ascorbic acid and dehydroascorbic acid in HeLa cells: their effect on the collagen-peptidase activity of glucose-deficient cultures

W A Boggust and H McGauley



HeLa cells in culture do not accumulate ascorbic acid unless ascorbic acid or dehydroascorbic acid is available in the medium. Collagen peptidase corresponding to the activity found in the invasive zone of tumours, and acid phosphatase, in HeLa cells cultured under normal conditions, are unaffected by ascorbic acid, but are reduced in cells deprived of carbohydrate. These reduced collagen-peptidase levels, but not acid phosphatase, are restored to the values of normal HeLa cells by ascorbic acid. The relevance of these findings is considered in the context of tumour growth and spread.