Hypoxia increases susceptibility of non-small cell lung cancer cells to complement attack.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift


The complement system can be specifically targeted to tumor cells due to molecular changes on their surfaces that are recognized by complement directly or via naturally occurring antibodies. However, tumor cells often overexpress membrane-bound complement inhibitors protecting them from complement attack. We have previously shown that non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells, additionally to membrane-bound inhibitors, produce substantial amounts of soluble regulators such as factor I (FI) and factor H (FH). Since low oxygen concentration is associated with rapidly growing solid tumors, we studied how NSCLC cells protect themselves from complement attack under hypoxic conditions. Unexpectedly, mRNA levels and secretion of both FI and FH were significantly decreased already after 24 h exposure to hypoxia while cell viability measured by XTT assay and annexin V/7-AAD staining was affected only marginally. Furthermore, we observed decrease of mRNA level and loss of membrane-bound complement inhibitor CD46 and increased deposition of early (C3b) and terminal (C9) complement components on hypoxic NSCLC cells. All three complement pathways (classical, lectin and alternative) were employed to deposit C3b on cell surface. Taken together, our results imply that under hypoxic conditions NSCLC give up some of their available defense mechanisms and become more prone to complement attack.


  • Marcin Okroj
  • Leticia Corrales
  • Anna Stokowska
  • Ruben Pio
  • Anna Blom
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Cancer och onkologi
Sidor (från-till)1773-1782
TidskriftCancer immunology, immunotherapy : CII
StatusPublished - 2009
Peer review utfördJa


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