Normal human colon cells suppress malignancy when fused with colon cancer cells

Teresa L. Johnson, Mary Pat Moyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Normal human colon mucosa cells and cells obtained from histologically normal tissues near that cancer were fused with human colon cancer cells. Resultant hybrid populations of normal and malignant cell fusions behaved as nonmalignant cells in culture, were unable to grow in soft agar, did not express tumor-associated antigens, and were nontumorigenic in nude mice. Autofusion of the cancer cell population led to a phenotype intermediate between normal and malignant cells. That is, the cultures had a much lower plating efficiency in soft agar, and the tumors had a longer latency and slower growth rate in nude mice. This is the first cell culture system to demonstrate that normal epithelial cells can suppress malignancy of their autologous cancer cells, and is a prelude to more extensive studies of genetic events involved in malignant conversion of human colonic epithelium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1095-1100
Number of pages6
JournalIn Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 1990


  • anti-oncogenes
  • cell fusion
  • colon cancer
  • epithelial cells
  • tumor suppression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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