Production of fetal-like alkaline phosphatase by HeLa cells

Norton A. Elson, Rody P. Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Alkaline phosphatase produced by HeLa cells differs in its chemical and physical properties from the enzyme found in adult organs and tissues (Cox and Griffin, 1967). In the present study HeLa cell alkaline phosphatase was compared to a fetal form of the enzyme found in human placenta. Both enzymes have approximately the same molecular weight as judged by sucrose density gradients, and the chemical and physical properties of these alkaline phosphatases are similar. The electrophoretic pattern of the HeLa cell enzyme resembles the placental alkaline phosphatase of the heterozygous FS phenotype except that it is slower moving. Double immunodiffusion using an antibody against HeLa cell alkaline phosphatase and placental and HeLa cell enzymes as antigens shows a single line of partial identity between the two enzymes, with a small spur suggesting additional antigenic sites on the HeLa cell enzyme. The data suggest that malignant cells in culture, HeLa, are producing a fetal-like alkaline phosphatase probably by "derepression of the genome." However, the electrophoretic and immunological characteristics of the enzyme are altered sufficiently so that it can be distinguished from the normally produced fetal enzyme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-561
Number of pages13
JournalBiochemical Genetics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1969

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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