TFF1 is membrane-associated in breast carcinoma cell line MCF-7.

Document Type



Pathology and Microbiology


Trefoil factor family (TFF) domain peptides, products of mucin-secreting epithelial cells, are thought to influence mucosal integrity. Molecular studies revealed that mammalian TFFs lack transmembrane domains. Using immunocytochemistry and FACS analysis we demonstrated the association of TFF1 with the cell membrane in MCF-7 (a breast adenocarcinoma cell line), and tested the hypothesis that glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) linkage is the mechanism for this association. Cleavage of GPI anchorage usingphospholipase C did not affect TFF1 binding to the cell membrane. Our results demonstrate for the first time that TFF1 is associated with the cell membrane of MCF-7 cells and is not linked via a GPI anchor.