Inserm U. 402, Faculté de médecine Saint-Antoine, 27, rue Chaligny, 75571 Paris Cedex 12, France.
The protein encoded by ras and src protooncogenes are frequently activated in a constitutive state in human colorectal cancer. In this study, we investigated the effect of oncogenic p21ras and Py-MT/pp60c-src on the synthesis of syndecan-1, a membrane anchored proteoglycan playing a role in cell-matrix interaction and neoplastic growth control. To this end, we used Caco-2 cells transfected with an activated (Val-12) human Ha-ras gene or the polyoma middle T (Py-MT) oncogene, a constitutive activator of pp60c-src tyrosine kinase activity. As compared to control vector-transfected Caco-2 cells, both oncogene-transfected cells exhibited: (1) a decrease in syndecan-1 specific activity; (2) a decrease in size and sulfation of syndecan-1 ectodomain glycosaminoglycan side chains; and (3) an active heparanase specifically degrading the heparan sulfate chains. In conclusion, the tumorigenic progression induced by oncogenic p21ras or Py-MT/pp60c-src is associated with marked alterations of syndecan-1 at the post-translational level.