University of Oulu

Wafa Wahbi, Erika Naakka, Katja Tuomainen, Ilida Suleymanova, Annamari Arpalahti, Ilkka Miinalainen, Juho Vaananen, Reidar Grenman, Outi Monni, Ahmed Al-Samadi, Tuula Salo, The critical effects of matrices on cultured carcinoma cells: Human tumor-derived matrix promotes cell invasive properties, Experimental Cell Research, Volume 389, Issue 1, 2020, 111885, ISSN 0014-4827,

The critical effects of matrices on cultured carcinoma cells : human tumor-derived matrix promotes cell invasive properties

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Author: Wahbi, Wafa1,2; Naakka, Erika1,2; Tuomainen, Katja1,2;
Organizations: 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases, Clinicum, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
2Translational Immunology Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland
3Biocenter Oulu Electron Microscopy Core Facility, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Applied Tumor Genomics Research Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
5Department of Otolaryngology, Turku University, Turku, Finland
6Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
7Medical Research Centre, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
8Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 27.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-02-01


The interaction between squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) cells and the tumor microenvironment (TME) plays a major role in cancer progression. Therefore, understanding the TME is essential for the development of cancer therapies.

We used four (primary and metastatic) head and neck (HN) SCC cell lines and cultured them on top of or within 5 matrices (mouse sarcoma-derived Matrigel®, rat collagen, human leiomyoma-derived Myogel, human fibronectin and human fibrin). We performed several assays to study the effects of these matrices on the HNSCC behavior, such as proliferation, migration, and invasion, as well as cell morphology, and molecular gene profile.

Carcinoma cells exhibited different growth patterns depending on the matrix. While fibrin enhanced the proliferation of all the cell lines, collagen did not. The effects of the matrices on cancer cell migration were cell line dependent. Carcinoma cells in Myogel-collagen invaded faster in scratch wound invasion assay. On the other hand, in the spheroid invasion assay, three out of four cell lines invaded faster in Myogel-fibrin. These matrices significantly affected hundreds of genes and a number of pathways, but the effects were cell line dependent.

The matrix type played a major role in HNSCC cell phenotype. The effects of the ECMs were either constant, or cell line dependent. Based on these results, we suggest to select the most suitable matrix, which provides the closest condition to the in vivo TME, in order to get reliable results in in vitro experiments.

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Series: Experimental cell research
ISSN: 0014-4827
ISSN-E: 1090-2422
ISSN-L: 0014-4827
Volume: 389
Issue: 1
Article number: 111885
DOI: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2020.111885
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3122 Cancers
Funding: We acknowledge the funders of this study: the Sigrid Jusélius Foundation, The Cancer Society of Finland, Oulu University Hospital MRC grant, the Emil Aaltonen Foundation, Helsinki University Central Hospital Research Funds, and Jane and Aatos Erkkos Foundation.
Copyright information: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license