Members of the cadherin family have been implicated as growth regulators in multiple tumor types. Based on recent studies from our laboratory implicating T-cadherin expression in mouse brain tumorigenesis, we examined the role of T-cadherin in astrocytoma growth regulation. In this report, we show that T-cadherin expression increased during primary astrocyte physiologic growth arrest in response to contact inhibition and serum starvation in vitro, suggesting a function for T-cadherin in astrocyte growth regulation. We further demonstrate that transient and stable reexpression of T-cadherin in deficient C6 glioma cell lines results in growth suppression. In addition, T-cadherin-expressing C6 cell lines demonstrated increased homophilic cell aggregation, increased cell attachment to fibronectin, and decreased cell motility. Cell cycle flow cytometry demonstrated that T-cadherin reexpression resulted in G2 phase arrest, which was confirmed by mitotic index analysis. This growth arrest was p53 independent, as T-cadherin could still mediate growth suppression in p53-/- mouse embryonic fibroblasts. T-cadherin-expressing C6 cell lines exhibited increased p21CIP1/WAF1, but not p27Kip1, expression. Lastly, T-cadherin-mediated growth arrest was dependent on p21CIP1/WAF1 expression and was eliminated in p21CIP1/WAF1-deficient fibroblasts. Collectively, these observations suggest a novel mechanism of growth regulation for T-cadherin involving p21CIP1/WAF1 expression and G2 arrest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-578
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2003


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