Induction of the differentiated phenotype in human colon cancer cells is associated with the attenuation of subcellular tyrosine phosphorylation

Bertha Schwartz*, Sergio A. Lamprecht, Sylvie Polak-Charcon, Yaron Niv, Young S. Kim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


In the present study we have determined membrane, cytosolic, and cytoskeleton-associated tyrosine protein kinase (TPK) activity in human colon cancer cell lines exposed to (i) the differentiation-promoting agents sodium butyrate and 8-chloro-cyclic-adenosine 3′,5′-monophosphate (8-Cl-cAMP), (ii) tyrphostins, specific TPK inhibitors, or (iii) differentiation-inducing culture manipulations. Treatment of human colon cancer cell lines, LS 174T, COLO 205, and SW620, with sodium butyrate and 8-Cl-cAMP or tyrphostins AG-30 and AG-34, significantly attenuated TPK activity concomitantly with an increase in the activity of alkaline phosphatase, an enzymatic marker of intestinal cell differentiation. The differentiated phenotype induced in Caco-2 and HT-29 colon cancer cells by culture manipulation was associated with a significant decrease in cytoskeleton-associated TPK activity and marked activity of alkaline phosphatase (AP). Electron microscopy and freeze-fracturing analysis of HT-29 cells showed that the gradual transition from the undifferentiated to the differentiated phenotype resulted in the acquisition of a distinct polarized morphology. Immunocytochemical phosphotyrosine analysis of cultured SW620 cells showed positive staining mostly localized in zones of focal contacts. A marked reduction in phosphotyrosine staining with notable changes in cell morphology was observed in SW620 cells exposed to tyrphostins. Cumulatively, the present results indicate that the induction of the differentiated phenotype in colon cancer cells is associated with a marked decrease in TPK activity and tyrosine phosphorylation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)277-287
Number of pages11
JournalOncology Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Colorectal neoplasia
  • cytoskeleton
  • differentiation
  • proliferation
  • tyrosine phosphorylation
  • tyrphostins


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