Postmitotic basal cells in squamous cell epithelia are identified with Dolichos biflorus agglutinin – functional consequences

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Dolichos biflorus agglutinin (DBA) is a plant lectin specifically recognizing α-N-acetylgalactosamine. Controversial reports regarding the binding of DBA to the epidermis have been published. Using a double labeling procedure at the single-cell level, we studied the expression of DBA-reactive binding sites in conjunction with markers of cell proliferation and differentiation in normal human epidermis, cornea, and malignant tumors as well as in cultured keratinocytes. The results characterize the cells recognized by DBA as postmitotic early differentiating cells, identifiable by their lack of expression of the proliferation marker (Ki-67). The Golgi complex of a limited number of cultured keratinocytes was recognized by DBA and some of these cells show the accumulation of β1 integrin chain in the Golgi complex. This process seems to be important for the migration of postmitotic cells from the basal to the suprabasal layers.

Keywords: Dolichos biflorus agglutinin; Squamous cell epithelia; carcinoma; differentiation; integrin; lectin

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Charles University, 1st Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Anatomy, Prague, Czech Republic, 2: Charles University, 2nd Faculty of Medicine, Center for Cell Therapy and Tissue Repair, Prague, Czech Republic,

Publication date: October 1, 2001

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