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Transforming growth factor alpha production and epidermal growth factor receptor expression in normal and oncogene transformed human mammary epithelial cells



Transforming growth factor alpha production and epidermal growth factor receptor expression in normal and oncogene transformed human mammary epithelial cells



Molecular Endocrinology 3(1): 203-214



We have characterized the expression of transforming growth factor alpha (TGF alpha) and its receptor, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R), in normal and malignantly transformed human mammary epithelial cells. Human mammary epithelial cells were derived from a reduction mammoplasty (184), immortalized by benzo-a-pyrene (184A 1N4), and further transformed by the oncogenes simian virus 40 T (SV40 T), v-Ha-ras, and v-mos alone or in combination using retroviral vectors. 184 and 184A 1N4 cells require EGF for anchorage-dependent clonal growth. In mass culture, they secrete TGF alpha at high concentrations and exhibit an attenuated requirement for exogenous EGF/TGF alpha. SV40 T transformed cells have 4-fold increased EGF-R, have acquired the ability to clone in soft agar with EGF/TGF alpha supplementation, but are not tumorigenic. Cells transformed by v-mos or v-Ha-ras are weakly tumorigenic and capable of both anchorage dependent and independent growth in the absence of EGF/TGF alpha. Cells transformed by both SV40 T and v-Ha-ras are highly tumorigenic, are refractory to EGF/TGF alpha, and clone with high efficiency in soft agar. The expression of v-Ha-ras is associated with a loss of the high (but not low) affinity binding component of the EGF-R. Malignant transformation and loss of TGF alpha/EGF responsiveness did not correlate with an increase in TGF alpha production. Thus, TGF alpha production does not appear to be a tumor specific marker for human mammary epithelial cells. Differential growth responses to EGF/TGF alpha, rather than enhanced production of TGF alpha, may determine the transition from normal to malignant human breast epithelium.

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Accession: 041836113

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PMID: 2783757

DOI: 10.1210/mend-3-1-203


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