International Journal of Cancer vol:50 issue:1 pages:118-123
Expression of the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) on small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) cell lines and tumour tissue has been investigated. Cell lines were found to express highly sialylated NCAM. Neuraminidase treatment revealed the presence of the 140- and 120-kDa isoforms with differential expression of a 95-kDa protein. Similar data were obtained with SCLC tumour tissues. These results were corroborated by Northern blotting where mRNA of 6.7 and 5.5 kb coding for the 140- and 120-kDa isoforms, respectively, were identified. In a few tumours, a weaker band of 7.4-kb mRNA coding for the 180-kDa NCAM was also identified. This result could not be confirmed biochemically due to shortage of material. Finally, a 5-kb transcript was identified in all SCLC samples examined. The NCAM isoform coded by this mRNA remains unknown. Using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), we have demonstrated the presence of the VASE mini-exon in some isoforms of SCLC NCAM. The VASE mini-exon sequence in human SCLC differs from the published murine sequence by only one base change. This substitution does not result in altered amino-acid sequence.