Inhibition of CRIPTO expression and tumorigenicity in human colon cancer cells by antisense RNA and oligodeoxynucleotides

Fortunate Ciardiello, Giampaolo Tortora, Caterina Bianco, Mouna P. Selvam, Fulvio Basolo, Gabriella Fontanini, Francesco Pacifico, Nicola Normanno, Ralf Brandt, M. Graziella Persico, David S. Salomon, A. Raffaele Bianco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CRIPTO is an epidermal growth factor-related gene expressed in a majority of human colorectal tumors. To assess the role of CRIPTO in the growth control of human colon cancer, we have treated human colon carcinoma GEO and CBS cells, that possess high levels of CRIPTO, and WIDR colon cancer cells, that are negative for CRIPTO expression, with two antisense phosphorothioate oligodeoxynucleotides complementary to the 5' end of the human CRIPTO mRNA. Both antisense oligodeoxynucleotides significantly reduced endogenous CRIPTO protein levels and inhibited GEO and CBS cell growth in monolayer and in semisolid medium, whereas they did not affect WIDR cell growth. In addition, GEO, CBS and WIDR cells were infected with a recombinant retroviral vector containing the hygromycin-resistance gene and a 900 bp EcoRI-EcoRI coding fragment of the human CRIPTO cDNA oriented in the 3' to 5' direction. GEO and CBS CRIPTO antisense infectants exhibited a 60 to 70% reduction in CRIPTO protein expression, in monolayer growth and in soft agar cloning efficiency as compared to parental noninfected cells. In contrast, infection of WIDR cells with the CRIPTO antisense retrovirus did not alter their growth. Finally, GEO CRIPTO antisense infectants formed tumors in nude mice that were significantly smaller and had a larger latency period as compared to noninfected GEO cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-298
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics


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