Open Access Research article

Adhesion of renal carcinoma cells to endothelial cells depends on PKCμ

Walburgis Brenner1*, Silke Beitz1, Elke Schneider1, Frank Benzing1, Ronald E Unger2, Frederik C Roos1, Joachim W Thüroff1 and Christian Hampel1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Urology, University Medical Center Mainz, Mainz, Germany

2 Institute of Pathology, University Medical Center Mainz, Mainz, Germany

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BMC Cancer 2010, 10:183  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-183

Published: 6 May 2010



The formation of metastases includes the separation of tumor cells from the primary tumor, cell migration into subendothelial tissue and cell proliferation in secondary organ. In this process, cell adhesion of tumor cells to the endothelium is an essential requirement for formation of metastases. Protein kinase C (PKC) regulates adhesion and proliferation. To identify a relation between PKC isoforms and tumor progression in renal cell carcinoma (RCC), the influence of PKC isoforms on cell adhesion and proliferation, and possible influences of integrins were analyzed in RCC cells.


The experiments were performed in the RCC cell lines CCF-RC1 and CCF-RC2 after pre-incubation (16 h) with the PKC inhibitors GF109203X (inhibits PKCα, βI, βII, γ, δ and ε), GÖ6976 (inhibits PKCα, βI and μ), RO31-8220 (inhibits PKCα, βI, βII, γ and ε) and rottlerin (inhibits PKCδ). Cell adhesion was assessed through adherence of RCC cells to an endothelial monolayer. Cell proliferation was analyzed by a BrdU incorporation assay. The expression of β1 integrins was analyzed by flow cytometry.


In CCF-RC1 cells, cell adhesion was significantly reduced by GÖ6976 to 55% and by RO31-8220 to 45% of control. In CCF-RC2 cells, only GÖ6976 induced a significant reduction of cell adhesion to 50% of control levels. Proliferation of both cell lines was reduced by rottlerin to 39% and 45% of control, respectively. The β1 integrin expression on the cell surface of CCF-RC1 and CCR-RC2 cells was decreased by RO31-8220 to 8% and 7% of control, respectively. β2 and β3 integrins were undetectable in both cell lines.


The combination of the PKC inhibitors leads to the assumption that PKCμ influences cell adhesion in CCF-RC1 and CCF-RC2 cells, whereas in CCF-RC1 cells PKCε also seems to be involved in this process. The expression of β1 integrins appears to be regulated in particular by PKCε. Cell proliferation was inhibited by rottlerin, so that PKCδ might be involved in cell proliferation in these cells.