A near-diploid mouse fibroblast cell line m5S/1M used in this study shows a high sensitivity to contact-dependent inhibition of growth, and the addition of EGF causes both morphological change and loss of contact-dependent inhibition of growth. The m5S/1M cell and its transformants obtained by x-ray irradiation have been used to search for the cell surface glycoproteins that are responsible for the growth regulation via cell-cell interactions. Lectin blotting analyses showed that the expression of the cell surface glycoprotein of 140 kD (140KGP) is highly sensitive to the transformation induced either by x-ray irradiation or by the EGF stimulation. We purified the 140KGP and found that it was composed of two glycoproteins. The major component of 140KGP was identified as neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) by amino acid sequence analyses of the peptide fragments and by the cross-reactivity with anti-NCAM mAb, clone H28.1.2.3. Monoclonal antibody against 140KGP (clone LN-10) recognizes all three isoforms of NCAM expressed on m5S/1M cell and showed that the expression of NCAM was highly sensitive to the transformation. Furthermore, the immobilized LN-10 strongly inhibited the growth of actively proliferating m5S/1M cells and the LN-10 in a soluble form showed a significant growth-stimulating effect on the confluent quiescent cultures of m5S/1M cells. The results show that NCAM plays a major role in the contact-dependent inhibition of growth of m5S/1M, and that NCAM might be involved in the regulation of cell growth during embryogenesis and formation of nervous systems.

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