Production of crystallins and lens-like structures in differentiation-induced neoplastic pigment cells (goldfish erythrophoroma cells) in vitro

Toyoko Akiyama, Jiro Matsumoto, Takatoshi Ishikawa, Goro Eguchi

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6 Citations (Scopus)


We examined the crystallins present in lens-like cell aggregates produced by goldfish erythrophoroma (tumors of integumental erythrophores) cells in vitro using a combination of Sephadex-G-200 gel filtration, one- and two-dimensional sodium-dodecyl-sulfate/poly-acryl-amide gel electrophoresis, immunoblotting, and indirect immunofluorescence assays. The two studied neoplastic pigment cell lines, GEM 81 and GEM 218, formed small, spherical, transparent cell aggregates, resembling lentoid bodies, within the cell mounds of monolayer cultures after treatment with dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) and autologous serum. Partial purification of a water-soluble extract of such lens-like cell aggregates and subsequent immunoblotting using antibodies (polyclonal) against newt whole lens proteins revealed the presence of about 20 unequivocally conjugated peptides with molecular masses of 19–27 kilodaltons. From their antigenicity and their behavior during gel filtration and electrophoresis, most of these peptides were identified as either α- or β-form crystallins. Immunofluorescence microscopy using antibodies to newt whole lens proteins revealed intense fluorescence in the lens-like cell aggregates formed by these erythrophoroma cells, whereas the cell mounds in cultures of the same cell lines that had not been subjected to differentiation induction were almost unlabeled. Thus, goldfish erythrophoroma cells appear to be capable of crystallin production as well as the formation of lens-like cell aggregates upon the induction of differentiation. There is little available information indicating that normal pigment cells are capable of lens formation and crystallin synthesis during vertebrate ontogeny, and thus it is possible that neoplastic transformation of pigment cells is associated with the acquisition of the ability to produce crystallins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-44
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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