Letter | Published:

Parallel Correction of Cancerous Growth and of a Genetic Defect of Cell-to-Cell Communication

Abstract

THREE strains of cells have recently been found which, unlike normal cells, do not make junctions of a kind that connects the cell interiors to each other1,2. These three strains are also cancerous1,2. We explore here whether the junctional defect is related to the cancerous state of these cells; we fuse cells of one of the strains with normal cells that make junctions and examine the junctional permeability and growth properties of the resulting hybrids. This approach is based on the findings of Harris and Klein and colleagues, and of Weiss, Todaro and Green, that tumorigenicity is markedly reduced3,4 and contact inhibition of growth resumed5 in hybrids between various kinds of cancer and normal cells. This also turned out to be the case with the present cell systems. The question is then, is the normalization of the growth properties associated with normalization of junctional connexion? The results show that both defects are corrected in the hybrids.

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