Enhanced tumorigenicity of rat bladder squamous cell carcinoma cells after abrogation of gap junctional intercellular communication

Makoto Asamoto, Hiroyasu Toriyama-Baba, Vladimir Krutovskikh, Samuel M. Cohen, Hiroyuki Tsuda

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12 Scopus citations


We previously demonstrated a clear tendency for actively communicating rat bladder carcinoma cell lines with elevated expression of connexin 43 mRNA to possess strong tumorigenicity. In the present study, immunohistochemical analysis established that normal bladder epithelium did not express connexin 43 protein, but bladder carcinomas often expressed the protein, particularly on the membranes of cells within areas of squamous cell differentiation. To investigate the role of connexin 43 overexpression in rat bladder carcinoma cells, an anti-sense connexin 43 expression vector was transfected into BC31 cells having a high communication capacity. In the resultant transfectants, there was little or no communication capacity and connexin 43 expression. The growth rate in vitro was not changed compared to that of cells treated with the vector alone (without the anti-sense sequence), but tumorigenicity in nude mice was dramatically enhanced. The results indicate that connexin 43 overexpression in rat bladder carcinogenesis is related to squamous cell differentiation, and the protein can have tumor suppressor characteristics, as in other organs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-486
Number of pages6
JournalJapanese Journal of Cancer Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1998



  • Bladder
  • Connexin 43
  • Gap junction
  • Rat
  • Tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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