We have studied a murine tumor previously classified as a poorly differentiated chondrosarcoma. Although the cells in this tumor are surrounded by large quantities of extracellular matrix material, the matrix fails to react with stains specific for the sulfated glycosaminoglycans present in normal cartilage. Here we show at the ultrastructural level that the tumor matrix is a homogeneous, nonfibrillar material, resembling basement membrane. Neither the proteoglycan matrix granules nor collagen fibrils characteristic of cartilage are present in the tumor matrix. Amino acid analyses of whole tumor tissue, enzyme-solubilized tumor components, and the protein extracted from lathyritic tumors confirmed that the tumor matrix is a basement membrane collagen. The collagenous protein extracted from the tumor by nonenzymatic means contains three unique polypeptides larger than the alpha-chain components of the other types of collagen. These studies indicate that the tumor is not a type of chondrosarcoma but a basement membrane producing tumor.

This content is only available as a PDF.