Agents that increase (certain metabolic inhibitors, chemotherapeutic agents, and x-irradiation), decrease (hormones), or have no effect (hyperthermia) on the susceptibility of line-1 and line-10 guinea pig hepatoma cells to humoral immune attack were studied for their effects on the ability of these tumor cells to synthesize macromolecules. A correlation was found between the drug-induced increase in sensitivity of these cells to antibody-C mediated killing and the loss of their ability to incorporate fatty acids into complex cellular lipids. Similarly, the hormone-induced increase in resistance of the cells to killing was accompanied by an enhancement in complex lipid synthesis by the cells. A correlation between sensitivity to humoral immune killing and complex lipid synthesis by these cells was also observed after the cells were exposed to physical means of insult (x-irradiation or hyperthermia).

No correlation was found between the sensitivity of the cells to antibody-C mediated killing and their ability to synthesize DNA, RNA, protein, or complex carbohydrate, or their capacity for de novo lipid synthesis as measured by incorporation of acetate and glycerol into cellular macromolecules.

The assembly of free fatty acids into complex lipid moieties is therefore proposed to be of fundamental importance for the ability of the tumor cells to resist humoral immune killing.


This is paper 12 of the series “Lysis of tumor cells by antibody and complement.” Presented in part at the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, May 20, 1977, Denver, Colorado.

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