Transfection of chicken vinculin cDNA into two tumor cell lines expressing diminished levels of the endogenous protein, brought about a drastic suppression of their tumorigenic ability. The SV-40-transformed Balb/c 3T3 line (SVT2) contains four times less vinculin than the parental 3T3 cells, and the rat adenocarcinoma BSp73ASML has no detectable vinculin. Restoration of vinculin in these cells, up to the levels found in 3T3 cells, resulted in an apparent increase in substrate adhesiveness, a decrease in the ability to grow in soft agar, and suppression of their capacity to develop tumors after injection into syngeneic hosts or nude mice. These results suggest that vinculin, a cytoplasmic component of cell-matrix and cell-cell adhesions, may have a major suppressive effect on the transformed phenotype.

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