Overexpression of SPARC in stably transfected F9 cells mediates attachment and spreading in Ca (2+) -deficient medium

Everitt, E.A.; Sage, E.H.

Biochemistry and Cell Biology 70(12): 1368-1379


ISSN/ISBN: 0829-8211
PMID: 1299273
DOI: 10.1139/o92-185
Accession: 018041291

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The Ca(2+)-binding protein SPARC is one of a group of proteins that function in vitro to promote the rounding of cells. To assess whether the modulation of cell shape by SPARC is affected by extracellular Ca2+, we used F9 cell lines that had been stably transfected with sense or antisense SPARC DNA. Sense-transfected (S) lines that overexpress SPARC are aggregated and rounded, whereas antisense (AS) lines that express low levels of the protein are flat and spread. We tested whether the cell lines would exhibit these altered morphologies in Ca(2+)-deficient media. When cultured under these conditions, S lines attached and spread, whereas AS lines attached but remained round, with no subsequent spreading. Addition of CaCl2 or purified SPARC to the Ca(2+)-deficient medium resulted in spreading of the AS and control lines and a reappearance of the altered morphologies. Expression of the Ca(2+)-binding cadherin uvomorulin by the cell lines correlated with neither their morphology nor their level of SPARC expression. We conclude that the altered phenotypes of the transected lines reflect, in part, the concentration of extracellular Ca2+ and that the spreading exhibited by the S lines under Ca(2+)-deficient conditions is directly related to their enhanced expression of SPARC. SPARC might, therefore, mediate interactions between cells and matrix that are permissive for adhesion when levels of extracellular Ca2+ are diminished.