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Analysis of transforming growth factor (TGF)-alpha/epidermal growth factor receptor, hepatocyte growth Factor/c-met,TGF-beta receptor type II, and p53 expression in human hepatocellular carcinomas



Analysis of transforming growth factor (TGF)-alpha/epidermal growth factor receptor, hepatocyte growth Factor/c-met,TGF-beta receptor type II, and p53 expression in human hepatocellular carcinomas



Clinical Cancer Research 3(7): 1059-1066



Experimental data suggest that dysregulation of growth factors and the cognate receptors may play an important role in hepatocarcinogenesis. The objective of the present study was to characterize the expression of two hepatotrophic growth factor/receptor systems [transforming growth factor-alpha/epidermal growth factor receptor (TGF-alpha/EGFR) and hepatocyte growth factor/c-met receptor (HGF/c-met)], both of which are implicated in the development of human liver tumors. In addition, we have analyzed the expression of transforming growth factor-beta receptor type II (TGF-beta-RII) and p53, genes associated with growth inhibition and tumor suppression, respectively. Surgical biopsy specimens from 86 human hepatocellular carcinomas were analyzed. TGF-alpha was overexpressed in 17%, equally expressed in 21%, and down-regulated in 62% of the hepatocellular carcinomas when compared to the surrounding hepatic tissue. No major changes were found with EGFR expression. HGF was over-expressed in 33% and down-regulated in 21% of the tumors. The c-met receptor was overexpressed in 20%, equally expressed in 48%, and down-regulated in 32% of the neoplasms. In contrast, TGF-beta-RII was overexpressed in only 8%, equal in 42%, and down-regulated in 50% of tumors. Nuclear staining of p53, indicative of a mutation(s), was observed in the great majority of the tumors (80%), whereas no nuclear p53 was detected in peritumoral tissues. Interestingly, simultaneous down-regulation of c-met and TGF-beta-RII was observed in 23% of the hepatocellular carcinomas, 85% of which also showed nuclear p53 staining. Taken together, our data suggest that down-regulation of c-met and TGF-beta-RII may, together with p53 mutations, play a significant role in human liver carcinogenesis.

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Accession: 045250486

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PMID: 9815784


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