Expression of cell adhesion molecule 1 in malignant pleural mesothelioma as a cause of efficient adhesion and growth on mesothelium

Laboratory Investigation. 2008 Mar 10 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Ito A, Hagiyama M, Mimura T, Matsumoto M, Wakayama T, Iseki S, Yokozaki H, Okada M.

Division of Pathology, Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe University, Kobe, Japan.


Cell adhesion molecule 1 (CADM1), formerly referred to as SgIGSF, TSLC1, or Necl-2, has been characterized as a mast-cell adhesion molecule that mediates efficient interactions with mesothelial cells. Here, we examined whether CADM1 might be involved in the diffuse tumor growth over the pleural surface that characterizes malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). Immunohistochemical and western blot analyses revealed that 14 (25%) of 57 MPMs expressed the full-length form of CADM1 on the cell membrane, but non-neoplastic mesothelial cells did not express it at all. The majority of available MPM cell lines also expressed the full-length form of CADM1. We compared CADM1-positive and -negative MPM cells in culture within soft agar and in coculture on mesothelial or fibroblastic monolayers. Within soft agar, CADM1-negative MPM cells were capable of forming colonies, whereas CADM1-positive cells were not, suggesting that CADM1 is a potential tumor suppressor of MPM, consistent with the past characterization of this molecule in other types of tumors. However, in coculture on mesothelial cell monolayers lacking full-length CADM1, CADM1-positive MPM cells spread more widely and grew more quickly, whereas the CADM1-negative cells piled up. Transfection of the CADM1-negative cells with CADM1 cDNA caused them to behave like the CADM1-positive cells, with faster, more widespread growth. These phenotypic differences were not detectable in cocultures on lung fibroblastic monolayers, in which all MPM cells grew much more slowly than on mesothelial cells, irrespective of CADM1 positivity. CADM1 thus appears to mediate efficient adhesion and growth of MPM cells specifically on mesothelial cells, probably via trans-heterophilic binding, and thus may be involved in the manifestation of a considerable subset of MPMs as diffusely growing tumors disseminated over the pleural surface.