AIM: To investigate the expression and function of CD74 in normal murine colon epithelial cells (CEC) and colon carcinoma cells. METHODS: Expression of CD74 mRNA and protein were measured by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), Western blotting and fluorescence- activated cell sorter (FACS). The effect of migration inhibitory factor (MIF) on the survival of normal CEC from C57BL/6, NOD/SCID, and CD74 deficient mice both in vitro and in vivo, and on the CT26 carcinoma cell line was analyzed by (quantitative) qRT-PCR, RTPCR, Western blotting and FACS. RESULTS: CD74 was found to be expressed on normal CEC. Stimulation of CD74 by MIF induced a signaling cascade leading to up-regulation of Bcl-2 expression, resulting in a significant increased survival of CEC. CD74 was also expressed on the CT26 colon carcinoma cell line and its stimulation by MIF resulted in enhanced cell survival, up-regulation of Akt phosphorylation and Bcl-2 expression. CONCLUSION: CD74 is expressed on CEC and colon carcinoma cells and serves as a survival receptor in these cells. These results may have implications on colorectal cancer research.
- Colon epithelial cells
- Migration inhibitory factor