N-methylformamide as a potential therapeutic approach in colon cancer

Donatella Del Bufalo, Barbara Bucci, Igea D'Agnano, Gabriella Zupi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: The effect ofN-methylformamide, used in combination with the antineoplastic drugs adriamycin and cisplatin, on the cell survival of a colon carcinoma cell line (HT-29) was investigated. To better understand the mechanism involved inN-methylformamide-mediated chemosensitization, we evaluated theN-methylformamide effect on cell volume and surface expression of some integrins molecules (VLA2, VLA5, and VLA6) of the HT-29 cell line. METHODS: The cell survival was evaluated by clonogenic assay; integrins surface expression was analyzed by means of flow cytometry; cell volumes were determined using a Coulter Channalyzer. RESULTS: A Noncytotoxic dose ofN-methylformamide (170 mM) sensitizes the HT-29 cell line to the lethal activity of both adriamycin and cisplatin. The analysis of cell volume showed thatN-methylformamide exposure induces an increase in cell volume. Flow cytometric analysis of VLA2, VLA5, and VLA6 receptors showed thatN-methylformamide increases the expression of the three integrins by 30 to 40 percent. CONCLUSION: The plasma membrane could constitute one of theN-methylformamide targets and might be involved in the differentiation and chemosensitizing effects caused by this agent. Moreover, N-methylformamide could improve colon cancer treatment when used in combination with antineoplastic drugs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiseases of the Colon and Rectum
Issue number2 Supplement
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1994


  • Adhesion molecules
  • Antineoplastic drugs
  • Colon cancer
  • Differentiating agents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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