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Cancer procoagulant in human tumor cells: evidence from melanoma patients.

Cancer research (1986-12-01)
M B Donati, C Gambacorti-Passerini, B Casali, A Falanga, P Vannotti, G Fossati, N Semeraro, S G Gordon

It has repeatedly been proposed that fibrin plays a role in tumor growth and metastasis. Among tumor cell products or activities which may promote clot formation, cancer procoagulant (CP), a direct activator of coagulation factor X, has been suggested to be selectively associated with the malignant phenotype. We report here the enzymatic and immunological identification of this cysteine proteinase procoagulant in extracts and cells from human melanoma. CP activity was independent of both the intrinsic and extrinsic pathways of blood coagulation, using factor IX and factor VII deficient plasmas, and was inhibited by the cysteine proteinase inhibitors iodoacetamide and HgCl2. CP activity was detectable in extracts and cell suspensions from all 32 patients studied and was higher in extracts from metastases (14.8 +/- 3.9 units/mg protein) than from the primary tumors (3.7 +/- 1.0 units/mg protein). CP activity was not affected by an anti-apoprotein III antibody or by concanavalin A, a known inhibitor of thromboplastin. In contrast, no CP activity or antigen was detected in extracts from six benign melanocytic lesions. The procoagulant activity was dependent on factor VII and was inhibited by anti-apoprotein III antibody and by concanavalin A, properties that suggest that the procoagulant was tissue thromboplastin. These data indicate that CP can be expressed by human tumor cells and that, among melanotic lesions, its presence is associated with the malignant phenotype and its activity is particularly high in metastatic cells.

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DL-Dithiothreitol, ≥99.0% (RT)