When BALB/c 3T3, simian virus 40 (SV40)-transformed 3T3 (SVT2), and revertant variants of the transformed cells are removed by EGTA treatment from the substrate on which they were grown, they leave behind a layer of glycoprotein which has been characterized biochemically (Terry, A. H. and L. A. Culp. 1974. Biochemistry. 13:414.)—substrate-attached material (SAM). The influence of SAM from normal and from transformed cells on cellular attachment to the substrate, morphology, movement, and growth has been examined. All three cell types displayed a 30% higher plating efficiency when grown on 3T3 SAM. The morphology of SVT2 colonies and of individual SVT2 cells was dramatically affected by growth on 3T3 SAM—the cells (a) were more highly spread on the substrate, (b) resisted crawling over neighboring cells, and (c) resisted movement away from the edge of colonies; SVT2 SAM was not effective in causing these changes. A cell-to-substrate attachment assay using thymidine-radiolabeled cells and untreated or SAM-coated cover slips was developed. SVT2 cells attached to 3T3 SAM- or SVT2 SAM-coated cover slips with a faster initial rate and to a higher saturation level than to untreated substrate, whereas 3T3 and revertant cells exhibited no preference; there was no species specificity in these cell-substrate attachment phenomena. Trypsin-released cells attached much more slowly than EGTA-released cells. 3T3 SAM, however, was not effective in lowering the saturation density of mass cultures of virus-transformed cells. These experiments suggest that the substrate-attached glycoproteins of normal cells affect the cellular adhesivity, morphology, movement, and perhaps growth patterns of virus-transformed cells—i.e., causing partial reversion of these properties of transformed cells to those found in contact-inhibited fibroblasts. A model for the involvement of substrate-attached glycoproteins in cell-to-substrate adhesion, and possibly cell-to-cell adhesion, has been proposed.

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