Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 221–224 | Cite as

Protein and mRNA expression of tissue factor pathway inhibitor-1 (TFPI-1) in breast, pancreatic and colorectal cancer cells

Original Paper



Patients with solo tumour malignancy are at higher risk of developing venous thromboembolism. When prophylactic anticoagulation (and in particular heparin) is used during cancer therapy however, patients appear to have a prolonged survival. Tumours express large quantities of procoagulant molecules, which predispose patients to these conditions. Tissue Factor (TF) is an important example, which may have a role in the biology of malignant disease. Intra-tumour vessel coagulation however is not a common phenomenon. Our hypothesis is that cancer cells produce anticoagulant molecules, which may prevent intra-tumour vessel auto-coagulation. Our results show that one such factor—Tissue Factor Pathway Inhibitor (TFPI-1) is expressed by a number of different cancer cells.


Seven human cancer cell lines were studied: three breast, two colorectal and two pancreatic. Cells were maintained in cell culture, and at 90% confluence protein and RNA were extracted. RNA integrity was confirmed using an RNA integrity gel and RNA purity determined by spectrophotometry. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used for TFPI-1 mRNA detection and immunoblotting used for TFPI-1 protein detection.


Six cell lines (two breast, two colorectal, and two pancreatic) expressed the TFPI-1 gene. Gene function was confirmed by detection of TFPI-1 protein expression in these cell lines.


TFPI-1 is expressed by breast cancer and other cancer cell lines maintained in cell culture. This has not been previously reported. Functional expression of TFPI-1 by cancer cells suggests that it has an important role in cancer biology. Further experiments are required to establish its function.


Tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI) Tissue factor pathway inhibitor type-1 (TFPI-1) Lipoprotein associated coagulation inhibitor (LACI) Cancer cells 



The author would like to thank Mr. G. Nash, of the Thrombosis Research Institute, London, UK for providing the HUVEC cell line, and would like to thank Ms. Lisa Lowery, of the Department of Virology, Imperial School of Science, Technology and Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, London, UK for providing the TFPI-1 primers.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryYork District HospitalYorkUK

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