Letter | Published:

Control of Glycolipid Synthesis in a Cultured Hamster Cell Line


THE synthesis of complex ceramide glycolipids can be depressed in virus-transformed animal cell lines. The initial observation was made when Hakamori and Murakami1 showed that polyoma virus-transformed BHK21 cells contain less haematoside than untransformed cells. Mora et al.2 found in subconfluent cultures of mouse cell lines that concentrations of haematoside were comparable in spontaneously transformed and untransformed lines but that SV40 virus transformation led to a decrease in the concentrations of other gangliosides. We have found that transformation of NIL2 hamster cells leads to a depression in the synthesis of three glycolipids. The synthesis of these same three specific components may, however, be sub-optimal in normal NIL2 cells kept in an actively growing non-contact inhibited state.

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    Hakamori, S., and Murakami, U. T., Proc. US Nat. Acad. Sci., 59, 254 (1968).

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    Mora, P. T., Brady, R. O., Bradley, R. M., and McFarland, V. W., Proc. US Nat. Acad. Sci., 63, 1290 (1969).

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    Diamond, L., Intern. J. Cancer, 2, 143 (1967).

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    Gray, G. M., Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 144, 511 (1967).

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    Zavada, J., and Macpherson, I., Nature, 225, 24 (1970).

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    Robbins, P. W., and Macpherson, I., Proc. Roy. Soc., B, (in the press).

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