Gene Summary

Gene:FGF1; fibroblast growth factor 1
Aliases: AFGF, ECGF, FGFA, ECGFA, ECGFB, FGF-1, HBGF1, HBGF-1, GLIO703, ECGF-beta, FGF-alpha
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family. FGF family members possess broad mitogenic and cell survival activities, and are involved in a variety of biological processes, including embryonic development, cell growth, morphogenesis, tissue repair, tumor growth and invasion. This protein functions as a modifier of endothelial cell migration and proliferation, as well as an angiogenic factor. It acts as a mitogen for a variety of mesoderm- and neuroectoderm-derived cells in vitro, thus is thought to be involved in organogenesis. Multiple alternatively spliced variants encoding different isoforms have been described. [provided by RefSeq, Jan 2009]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:fibroblast growth factor 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 16 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 16 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 16 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: FGF1 (cancer-related)

Zhang QH, Xu P, Lu YX, Dou HT
Acidic and basic fibroblast growth factor expression levels in cervical cancer and their effects on tumor cell proliferation.
Genet Mol Res. 2016; 15(4) [PubMed] Related Publications
Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) play important roles in angiogenesis, wound healing, embryonic development, and endocrine signaling pathways. Increasingly, recent studies have reported aberrant FGF expression in various malignancies. However, the involvement of FGFs in cervical carcinoma pathogenesis remains unclear. We aimed to investigate expression of acidic (aFGF) and basic FGF (bFGF) in patients with this disease, and assess their effects on cervical cancer cell proliferation. Twenty cervical cancer patients and 10 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) patients were recruited, and 10 cancer-free individuals were included as controls. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and western blotting were employed to detect FGF mRNA and protein levels, respectively. Furthermore, HeLa cells were treated with FGFs and subjected to thiazolyl blue tetrazolium bromide assays to quantify proliferation. Compared with CIN and normal cervical tissues, aFGF and bFGF mRNA and protein levels were significantly elevated in cervical carcinomas (P < 0.05). CIN tissues exhibited higher expression of these FGFs than normal tissues (P < 0.05). Moreover, their mRNA levels were increased in advanced cancer stages (P < 0.05), although no significant difference was detected between tumors of different differentiation grades in this regard (P > 0.05). HeLa cell proliferation increased in an aFGF- and bFGF-dose-dependent manner (P < 0.05), the latter exerting a more potent proliferative influence, with its effect peaking at 75 ng/mL. aFGF and bFGF were highly expressed in cervical cancer tissues and their levels positively correlated with clinical stage. Both facilitate proliferation of cervical carcinoma cells and are implicated in cancer pathogenesis and progression.

Huang Y, Wan G, Tao J
C1q/TNF-related protein-3 exerts the chondroprotective effects in IL-1β-treated SW1353 cells by regulating the FGFR1 signaling.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2017; 85:41-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cartilage degeneration is known as a major cause of osteoarthritis (OA). C1q/TNF-related protein-3 (CTRP3) is an adipokine relative to chondrogenesis in vitro. However, its effect on cartilage degeneration in OA remains unclearly. In the present study, SW1353 cells were treated with IL-1β to imitate the microenvironment of OA for vitro research. Then, an obvious down-regulation of CTRP3 were validated in IL-1β-treated SW1353 cells. In addition, CTRP3 overexpression significantly attenuated the decrease in cell proliferation and increase in cell apoptosis triggered by IL-1β. Moreover, CTRP3 up-regulation significantly inhibited the expression of FGFR1, but with slight decrease in FGFR3 levels. Further analysis corroborated that FGFR1 overexpression markedly ameliorated the pro-proliferation and anti-apoptotic effects of CTRP3 elevation in cells upon IL-1β. Down-regulation of FGFR1 attenuated the increase in Ras-GTP expression caused by IL-1β stimulation. Moreover, EGFR1 elevation also abated the inhibitory effect of CTRP3 on Ras expression and the CRTP3-induced activation of PI3K/AKT in cells upon IL-1β. Furthermore, Ras inhibitor manumycin A antagonized the decrease in phosphorylation of PI3K and Akt caused by IL-1β treatment. Both Manumycin A and PI3K/Akt agonist FGF-1 attenuated the inhibitory effect of IL-1β on cell growth. Together, this research suggested that CTRP3 might protect chondrocytes against IL-1β-induced injury by suppressing the FGFR1- Ras/PI3K/Akt signaling-mediated growth inhibitory pathway, indicating a potential agent against osteoarthritis.

Ruiz-Narváez EA, Haddad SA, Lunetta KL, et al.
Gene-based analysis of the fibroblast growth factor receptor signaling pathway in relation to breast cancer in African American women: the AMBER consortium.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2016; 155(2):355-63 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We conducted gene-based analysis in 26 genes in the FGFR signaling pathway to identify genes carrying genetic variation affecting risk of breast cancer and the specific estrogen receptor (ER) subtypes. Tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for each gene were selected and genotyped on a customized Illumina Exome Array. Imputation was carried out using 1000 Genomes haplotypes. The analysis included 3237 SNPs in 3663 breast cancer cases (including 1983 ER-positive, and 1098 ER-negative) and 4687 controls from the African American Breast Cancer Epidemiology and Risk consortium, a collaborative project of four large studies of breast cancer in African American women (Carolina Breast Cancer Study, Black Women's Health Study, Women's Circle of Health Study, and Multiethnic Cohort). We used a multi-locus adaptive joint (AdaJoint) test to determine the association of each gene in the FGFR signaling pathway with overall breast cancer and ER subtypes. The FGF1 gene was significantly associated with risk of ER-negative breast cancer (P = 0.001). The FGFR2 gene was associated with risk of overall breast cancer (P = 0.002) and ER-positive breast cancer (P = 0.002). The FGF1 gene affects risk of ER-negative breast cancer in African American women. We confirmed the association of the FGFR2 gene with risk of overall and ER-positive breast cancer. These results highlight the importance of the FGFR signaling pathway in the pathogenesis of breast cancer, and suggest that different genes in the same pathway may be associated with different ER breast cancer subtypes.

Jiao J, Zhao X, Liang Y, et al.
FGF1-FGFR1 axis promotes tongue squamous cell carcinoma (TSCC) metastasis through epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT).
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2015; 466(3):327-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
Increasing evidences suggest a close association between tumor metastasis and the inflammatory factors secreted by tumor microenvironment. It has been reported that epithelial mesenchymal-transition (EMT) plays a significant role during multiple types of tumor metastasis and progression induced by inflammatory factor from tumor microenvironment. Previous researches implied that fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1) can promote tumor progression and cause poor prognosis in several types of malignant tumors via interacting with its receptor fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1). However, the effects of FGF1-FGFR1 on tongue squamous cell carcinoma (TSCC) are not yet completely understood. In the present study, we evaluated the effects and function of FGF1-FGFR1 axis on TSCC metastasis. In addition, we investigated whether the EMT pathway is involved in these effects, thus modulating the TSCC progression. The expression of FGFR1 was measured both in tongue cancer cell lines and tissues by qRT-PCR and western blot. We found that FGFR1 was up-regulated in TSCC tissues compared to non-neoplastic tongue tissues. Additionally, overexpression of FGFR1 is positively associated with poor differentiation and metastasis potential. Furthermore, the function of FGF1-FGFR1 was examined in TSCC cell line. The results implied that FGF1 can obviously promote Cal27 cells migration and invasion abilities through FGFR1, while the motile and invasive capabilities can be severely attenuated when knockdown the expression of FGFR1 by specific siRNAs. Further investigation results show that FGF1-FGFR1 axis promotes TSCC metastasis by modulating EMT pathway. However, this effect can be inhibited by blocking the FGF1-FGFR1 axis using FGFR1 specific siRNAs. In conclusion, our findings of the present study provide the evidences that FGF1-FGFR1 axis promotes the TSCC metastasis through the EMT pathway.

Kwak Y, Cho H, Hur W, Sim T
Antitumor Effects and Mechanisms of AZD4547 on FGFR2-Deregulated Endometrial Cancer Cells.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2015; 14(10):2292-302 [PubMed] Related Publications
Uncontrolled activation of FGFRs induces the progression of various cancers. It was recently reported that FGFR2-activating mutants are implicated in about 12% of endometrial carcinomas. AZD4547, a potent pan-FGFR inhibitor, is currently being evaluated in clinical trials for several FGFR-driven cancers. However, AZD4547 has not been examined yet against FGFR2 mutant-driven endometrial cancers. Thus, we evaluated the activity of AZD4547 against four different endometrial cancer cells, including AN3-CA, MFE296, MFE280, and HEC1A, where all but HEC1A cells express distinctive FGFR2 mutations. We found that AZD4547 exhibits potent antiproliferative activity (EC50 = 31 nmol/L) against AN3-CA cells harboring FGFR2-K310R/N550K mutant. Analysis using a phospho-kinase array revealed that AZD4547 blocks FGFR2 downstream signaling, such as p38, ERK1/2, JNK, p70S6K, and PLCγ. Moreover, oral administration of AZD4547 (30 mg/kg, every day) remarkably delayed tumor growth in a mouse xenograft model of AN3-CA cells. Unbiased reporter gene assay showed that AZD4547 antagonizes the aFGF-induced activation of several transcription factors, including EGR1, ELK-1/SRF, AP-1, and NFκB. Genome-wide transcriptome analysis revealed that AZD4547 perturbs a number of transcriptions, and EGR1 was identified as one of the major targets of AZD4547. The significance of the FGFR2-EGR1 axis in endometrial cancer progression has not been reported. In addition, using kinome-wide inhibition profiling analysis, we first identified potential new target kinases of AZD4547, including MAP4K3, MAP4K5, IRR, RET, and FLT3. Our study demonstrated that AZD4547 exhibits its therapeutic activity against endometrial cancer cells by perturbing various regulatory mechanisms related to FGFR signaling.

Ke J, Yao YL, Zheng J, et al.
Knockdown of long non-coding RNA HOTAIR inhibits malignant biological behaviors of human glioma cells via modulation of miR-326.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(26):21934-49 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Glioma is the most common and aggressive primary adult brain tumor. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have important roles in a variety of biological properties of cancers. Here, we elucidated the function and the possible molecular mechanisms of lncRNA HOTAIR in human glioma U87 and U251 cell lines. Quantitative RT-PCR demonstrated that HOTAIR expression was up-regulated in glioma tissues and cell lines. Knockdown of HOTAIR exerted tumor-suppressive function in glioma cells. Further, HOTAIR was confirmed to be the target of miR-326 and miR-326 mediated the tumor-suppressive effects of HOTAIR knockdown on glioma cell lines. Moreover, over-expressed miR-326 reduced the FGF1 expression which played an oncogenic role in glioma by activating PI3K/AKT and MEK 1/2 pathways. In addition, the in vivo studies also supported the above findings. Taken together, knockdown of HOTAIR up-regulated miR-326 expression, and further inducing the decreased expression of FGF1, these results provided a comprehensive analysis of HOTAIR-miR-326-FGF1 axis in human glioma and provided a new potential therapeutic strategy for glioma treatment.

Zhao D, Lu Y, Yang C, et al.
Activation of FGF receptor signaling promotes invasion of non-small-cell lung cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(5):3637-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
The molecular regulation of metastasis of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains not completely defined. Here we showed significant higher MMP26 in the resected NSCLC than adjacent healthy tissue from the patients. Moreover, a strong correlation between MMP26 and the phosphorylated fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) was detected. To examine the causal relationship between activated FGFR signaling and MMP26, we studied a human NSCLC cell line, A549. We found that FGF1-induced FGFR1 phosphorylation in A549 cells activated MMP26, resulting in an increase in cancer invasiveness. Inhibition of FGFR1 phosphorylation abolished FGF1-stimulated MMP26 activation, suggesting that activation of FGFR signaling pathway in NSCLC promotes cancer metastasis through MMP26. To define the signal transduction cascades downstream of FGFR1 activation for MMP26 activation, we used specific inhibitors for PI3K, ERK/MAPK, and JNK, respectively, to the FGF1-stimulated A549 cells. We found that only inhibition of JNK significantly decreased the activation of MMP26 in response to FGF1 stimulation, suggesting that activation of FGFR1 signaling may activate JNK to activate MMP26 in NSCLC. Our study thus highlights FGFR signaling pathway and MMP26 as novel therapeutic targets for NSCLC therapy.

Zubor P, Hatok J, Moricova P, et al.
Gene expression abnormalities in histologically normal breast epithelium from patients with luminal type of breast cancer.
Mol Biol Rep. 2015; 42(5):977-88 [PubMed] Related Publications
The gene expression profile of breast cancer has been described as a great breakthrough on the way to comprehend differences in cancer origin, behavior and therapy. However, gene expression profile in histologically normal epithelium (HNEpi) which could harbor genetic abnormalities predisposing breast tissue to develop malignancy was minor scope for scientists in the past. Thus, we aimed to analyze gene expressions in HNEpi and breast cancer tissue (BCTis) in order to establish its value as potential diagnostic marker for cancer development. We evaluated a panel of disease-specific genes in luminal type (A/B) of breast cancer and tumor surrounding HNEpi by qRT-PCR Array in 32 microdissected samples. There was 20.2 and 2.4% deregulation rate in genes with at least 2-fold or 5-fold over-expression between luminal (A/B) type breast carcinomas and tumor surrounding HNEpi, respectively. The high-grade luminal carcinomas showed higher number of deregulated genes compared to low-grade cases (50.6 vs. 23.8% with at least 2-fold deregulation rate). The main overexpressed genes in HNEpi were KLK5, SCGB1D2, GSN, EGFR and NGFR. The significant differences in gene expression between BCTis and HNEpi samples were revealed for BAG1, C3, CCNA2, CD44, FGF1, FOSL1, ID2, IL6R, NGFB, NGFR, PAPPA, PLAU, SERPINB5, THBS1 and TP53 gene (p < 0.05) and BCL2L2, CTSB, ITGB4, JUN, KIT, KLF5, SCGB1D2, SCGB2A1, SERPINE1 (p < 0.01), and EGFR, GABRP, GSN, MAP2K7 and THBS2 (p < 0.001), and GSN, KLK5 (p < 0.0001). The ontological gene analyses revealed high deregulations in gene group directly associated with breast cancer prognosis and origin.

Van Raemdonck K, Berghmans N, Vanheule V, et al.
Angiostatic, tumor inflammatory and anti-tumor effects of CXCL4(47-70) and CXCL4L1(47-70) in an EGF-dependent breast cancer model.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(21):10916-33 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
CXCL4 and CXCL4L1, platelet-derived CXC chemokines, and their carboxy-terminal peptides CXCL4(47-70) and CXCL4L1(47-70) previously displayed angiostatic and anti-tumoral activity in a melanoma model. Here, we found CXCL4(47-70) and CXCL4L1(47-70) to inhibit lymphatic endothelial cell proliferation in vitro. Furthermore, the angiostatic potential of CXCL4(47-70) and CXCL4L1(47-70) was tested against different angiogenic stimuli (FGF1, FGF2, FGF8, EGF and VEGF). Besides reducing FGF2-induced vascular endothelial cell growth, CXCL4(47-70) and CXCL4L1(47-70) efficiently counteracted EGF. Consequently, we considered their anti-tumoral potential in EGF-dependent MDA-MB-231 breast tumors. In tumor-bearing mice, CXCL4(47-70) reduced tumor growth better than CXCL4L1(47-70). In CXCL4(47-70)-treated tumors significantly more intratumoral monocytes/macrophages and dendritic cells were present and higher expression levels of CCL5 and IFN- γ were detected by qPCR on tumor lysates. Because neither peptide was able to specifically bind CXCR3A or CXCR3B, differential glycosaminoglycan binding and direct interaction with cytokines (EGF and CCL5) might explain any differences in anti-tumoral effects. Notably, CCL5-induced monocyte chemotaxis in vitro was increased by addition of CXCL4(47-70) or CXCL4L1(47-70). Finally, CXCL4(47-70) and CXCL4L1(47-70) inhibited proliferation of MDA-MB-231 cells. Our results suggest a tumor type-dependent responsiveness to either CXCL4(47-70) or CXCL4L1(47-70) treatment, defined by anti-proliferative, angiostatic and inflammatory actions, and substantiate their therapeutic potential.

King ML, Lindberg ME, Stodden GR, et al.
WNT7A/β-catenin signaling induces FGF1 and influences sensitivity to niclosamide in ovarian cancer.
Oncogene. 2015; 34(26):3452-62 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We previously characterized the link between WNT7A and the progression of ovarian cancer. Other groups have identified FGF1 as a relevant risk factor in ovarian cancer. Here, we show a linkage between these two signaling pathways that may be exploited to improve treatment and prognosis of patients with ovarian cancer. High expression of WNT7A and FGF1 are correlated in ovarian carcinomas and poor overall patient survival. A chromatin immunoprecipitation assay demonstrated that WNT7A/β-catenin signaling directly regulates FGF1 expression via TCF binding elements in the FGF1-1C promoter locus. In vitro gene manipulation studies revealed that FGF1 is sufficient to drive the tumor-promoting effects of WNT7A. In vivo xenograft studies confirmed that the stable overexpression of WNT7A or FGF1 induced a significant increase in tumor incidence, whereas FGF1 knockdown in WNT7A overexpressing cells caused a significant reduction in tumor size. Niclosamide most efficiently abrogated WNT7A/β-catenin signaling in our model, inhibited β-catenin transcriptional activity and cell viability, and increased cell death. Furthermore, niclosamide decreased cell migration following an increase in E-cadherin subsequent to decreased levels of SLUG. The effects of niclosamide on cell functions were more potent in WNT7A-overexpressing cells. Oral niclosamide inhibited tumor growth and progression in an intraperitoneal xenograft mouse model representative of human ovarian cancer. Collectively, these results indicate that FGF1 is a direct downstream target of WNT7A/β-catenin signaling and this pathway has potential as a therapeutic target in ovarian cancer. Moreover, niclosamide is a promising inhibitor of this pathway and may have clinical relevance.

Plönes T, Beckers F, Engel-Riedel W, et al.
Absence of amplification of the FGFR1-gene in human malignant mesothelioma of the pleura: a pilot study.
BMC Res Notes. 2014; 7:549 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare malignant disease with a worse outcome. Fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGFR1) may be an interesting target for selective tyrosine kinases inhibitors (TKI) in MPM. The aim of this study was to evaluate the amplification of the FGFR1 gene in patients suffering from MPM.
FINDINGS: We identified nineteen male patients treated in our department between August 2008 and July 2010 matching the inclusion criteria. Mean age was 68 years. Histopathological examination confirmed thirteen patients with epitheloid subtype, five with biphasic and one patient with sarcomatoid. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis revealed no polysomy nor an amplification of the FGFR gene copy number in any case.
CONCLUSION: Regarding that also EGFR amplifications in MPM are absolute rarities, our findings may be a hint that TKI's will not satisfy the hope for a new era in the treatment of MPM.

Shi H, Fu C, Wang W, et al.
The FGF-1-specific single-chain antibody scFv1C9 effectively inhibits breast cancer tumour growth and metastasis.
J Cell Mol Med. 2014; 18(10):2061-70 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Immunotherapy mediated by recombinant antibodies is an effective therapeutic strategy for a variety of cancers. In a previous study, we demonstrated that the fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF-1)-specific recombinant antibody scFv1C9 arrests the cell cycle at the G0/G1 transition by blocking the intracrine FGF-1 pathway in breast cancer cells. Here, we further show that the overexpression of scFv1C9 in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells by lentiviral infection resulted in decreased tumourigenicity, tumour growth and lung metastasis through FGF-1 neutralization. We found that scFv1C9 resulted in the up-regulation of p21, which in turn inhibited the expression of CDK2 and blocked cell cycle progression. To explore the potential role of scFv1C9 in vivo, we delivered the gene into solid tumours by electroporation, which resulted in significant inhibition of tumour growth. In tumour tissue sections, immunohistochemical staining of the cellular proliferation marker Ki-67 and the microvessel marker CD31 showed a reduction in the proliferative index and microvessel density, respectively, upon expression of scFv1C9 compared with the appropriate controls. Thus, our data indicate a central role for scFv1C9 in blocking the intracrine pathway of FGF-1, therefore, scFv1C9 could be developed in an effective therapeutic for breast cancer.

Wang X, Cao X
Regulation of metastasis of pediatric multiple myeloma by MMP13.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(9):8715-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
The molecular mechanism underlying metastasis of pediatric multiple myeloma (MM) remains elusive. Here, we showed that the levels of MMP13 are significantly higher in MM from young patients than those from adult patients. Moreover, a strong correlation of the MMP13 and phosphorylated fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) levels was detected in MM from young patients. To prove a causal link between activation of fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFR) signaling pathway and MMP13 expression, we used a human MM line, RPMI-8226 (8226), to study the underlying molecular basis. We found that FGF1-induced FGFR4 phosphorylation in 8,226 cells resulted in significant activation of MMP13, and consequently, an increase in cancer invasiveness. FGFR4 inhibition in 8,226 cells abolished FGF1-stimulated MMP13 expression, suggesting that activation of FGFR signaling pathway in MM may promote cancer metastasis by inducing MMP13 expression. To define the signaling cascades downstream of FGFR4 activation for MMP13 activation, we applied specific inhibitors for PI3K, Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and ERK/MAPK, respectively, to the FGF1-stimulated 8,226 cells. We found that only inhibition of ERK1/2 significantly decreased the activation of MMP13 in response to FGF stimulation, suggesting that activation of FGFR signaling may activate ERK/MAPK, rather than JNK or PI3K pathway to activate MMP13 expression in 8,226 cells. Our study thus highlights FGFR4 signaling pathway and MMP13 as novel therapeutic targets for MM.

Klemke M, Müller MH, Wosniok W, et al.
Correlated expression of HMGA2 and PLAG1 in thyroid tumors, uterine leiomyomas and experimental models.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(2):e88126 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In pleomorphic adenomas of the salivary glands (PASG) recurrent chromosomal rearrangements affecting either 8q12 or 12q14∼15 lead to an overexpression of the genes of the genuine transcription factor PLAG1 or the architectural transcription factor HMGA2, respectively. Both genes are also affected by recurrent chromosomal rearrangements in benign adipocytic tumors as e. g. lipomas and lipoblastomas. Herein, we observed a strong correlation between the expression of HMGA2 and PLAG1 in 14 benign and 23 malignant thyroid tumors. To address the question if PLAG1 can be activated by HMGA2, the expression of both genes was quantified in 32 uterine leiomyomas 17 of which exhibited an overexpression of HMGA2. All leiomyomas with HMGA2 overexpression also revealed an activation of PLAG1 in the absence of detectable chromosome 8 abnormalities affecting the PLAG1 locus. To further investigate if the overexpression of PLAG1 is inducible by HMGA2 alone, HMGA2 was transiently overexpressed in MCF-7 cells. An increased PLAG1 expression was observed 24 and 48 h after transfection. Likewise, stimulation of HMGA2 by FGF1 in adipose tissue-derived stem cells led to a simultaneous increase of PLAG1 mRNA. Altogether, these data suggest that HMGA2 is an upstream activator of PLAG1. Accordingly, this may explain the formation of tumors as similar as lipomas and lipoblastomas resulting from an activation of either of both genes by chromosomal rearrangements.

Blumenschein GR, Saintigny P, Liu S, et al.
Comprehensive biomarker analysis and final efficacy results of sorafenib in the BATTLE trial.
Clin Cancer Res. 2013; 19(24):6967-75 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: To report the clinical efficacy of sorafenib and to evaluate biomarkers associated with sorafenib clinical benefit in the BATTLE (Biomarker-Integrated Approaches of Targeted Therapy for Lung Cancer Elimination) program.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with previously treated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) received sorafenib until progression or unacceptable toxicity. Eight-week disease control rate (DCR), progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) were assessed. Prespecified biomarkers included K-RAS, EGFR, and B-RAF mutations, and EGFR gene copy number. Gene expression profiles from NSCLC cell lines and patient tumor biopsies with wild-type EGFR were used to develop a sorafenib sensitivity signature (SSS).
RESULTS: A total of 105 patients were eligible and randomized to receive sorafenib. Among 98 patients evaluable for eight-week DCR, the observed DCR was 58.2%. The median PFS and OS were 2.83 [95% confidence interval (CI), 2.04-3.58] and 8.48 months (95% CI, 5.78-10.97), respectively. Eight-week DCR was higher in patients with wild-type EGFR than patients with EGFR mutation (P = 0.012), and in patients with EGFR gene copy number gain (FISH-positive) versus patients FISH-negative (P = 0.048). In wild-type EGFR tumors, the SSS was associated with improved PFS (median PFS 3.61 months in high SSS vs. 1.84 months in low SSS; P = 0.026) but not with eight-week DCR. Increased expression of fibroblast growth factor-1, NF-κB, and hypoxia pathways were identified potential drivers of sorafenib resistance.
CONCLUSION: Sorafenib demonstrates clinical activity in NSCLC, especially with wild-type EGFR. SSS was associated with improved PFS. These data identify subgroups that may derive clinical benefit from sorafenib and merit investigation in future trials.

Meng QH, Xu E, Hildebrandt MA, et al.
Genetic variants in the fibroblast growth factor pathway as potential markers of ovarian cancer risk, therapeutic response, and clinical outcome.
Clin Chem. 2014; 60(1):222-32 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and FGF receptor (FGFR) axis plays a critical role in tumorigenesis, but little is known of its influence in ovarian cancer. We sought to determine the association of genetic variants in the FGF pathway with risk, therapeutic response, and survival of patients with ovarian cancer.
METHODS: We matched 339 non-Hispanic white ovarian cancer cases with 349 healthy controls and genotyped them for 183 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 24 FGF (fibroblast growth factor) and FGFR (fibroblast growth factor receptor) genes. Genetic associations for the main effect, gene-gene interactions, and the cumulative effect were determined.
RESULTS: Multiple SNPs in the FGF-FGFR axis were associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer. In particular, FGF1 [fibroblast growth factor 1 (acidic)] SNP rs7727832 showed the most significant association with ovarian cancer (odds ratio, 2.27; 95% CI, 1.31-3.95). Ten SNPs were associated with a reduced risk of ovarian cancer. FGF18 (fibroblast growth factor 18) SNP rs3806929, FGF7 (fibroblast growth factor 7) SNP rs9920722, FGF23 (fibroblast growth factor 23) SNP rs12812339, and FGF5 (fibroblast growth factor 5) SNP rs3733336 were significantly associated with a favorable treatment response, with a reduction of risk of nonresponse of 40% to 60%. Eleven SNPs were significantly associated with overall survival. Of these SNPs, FGF23 rs7961824 was the most significantly associated with improved prognosis (hazard ratio, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.39-0.78) and was associated with significantly longer survival durations, compared with individuals with the common genotype at this locus (58.1 months vs. 38.0 months, P = 0.005). Survival tree analysis revealed FGF2 rs167428 as the primary factor contributing to overall survival.
CONCLUSIONS: Significant associations of genetic variants in the FGF pathway were associated with ovarian cancer risk, therapeutic response, and survival. The discovery of multiple SNPs in the FGF-FGFR pathway provides a molecular approach for risk assessment, monitoring therapeutic response, and prognosis.

Thies HW, Nolte I, Wenk H, et al.
Permanent activation of HMGA2 in lipomas mimics its temporal physiological activation linked to the gain of adipose tissue.
Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014; 22(1):141-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: In this study the activation of HMGA2 and overexpression by FGF1-driven stimulation of adipose tissue derived stem cells (ADSCs) in adipose tissue tumors were analyzed. In addition, the expression of HMGA2 and PPAR-gamma mRNA were quantified in canine subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue from normal and overweight purebred dogs.
DESIGN AND METHODS: ADSCs and adipose tissue explants stimulated with FGF1 followed by gene expression analyses of HMGA2 and p14(Arf) using Western-blot and qRT-PCR. Furthermore, canine subcutaneous white adipose tissue (WAT) were analyzed by qRT-PCR for their expression of HMGA2 and PPAR-gamma.
RESULTS: ADSCs and adipose tissue explants are able to execute a HMGA2 response upon FGF1 stimulation. FGF1 enhances proliferation of ADSCs by a HMGA2-dependent mechanism. In lipomas increase of HMGA2 is accompanied by increased expression of p14(Arf) . Furthermore, a significantly elevated level of HMGA2 in overweight dogs and a negative correlation between the expression of HMGA2 and PPAR-gamma in subcutaneous cWAT were noted.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that WAT contains cells that as essential part of adipogenesis up-regulate HMGA2 resulting from growth factor stimulation. In subgroups of lipoma, constitutive activation of HMGA2 due to rearrangements replaces the temporal response triggered by growth factors.

Ishino R, Minami K, Tanaka S, et al.
FGF7 supports hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells and niche-dependent myeloblastoma cells via autocrine action on bone marrow stromal cells in vitro.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013; 440(1):125-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
FGF1 and FGF2 support hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) under stress conditions. In this study, we show that fibroblast growth factor (FGF7) may be a novel niche factor for HSPC support and leukemic growth. FGF7 expression was attenuated in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) deficient for the MED1 subunit of the Mediator transcriptional coregulator complex. When normal mouse bone marrow (BM) cells were cocultured with Med1(+/+) MEFs or BM stromal cells in the presence of anti-FGF7 antibody, the growth of BM cells and the number of long-time culture-initiating cells (LTC-ICs) decreased significantly. Anti-FGF7 antibody also attenuated the proliferation and cobblestone formation of MB1 stromal cell-dependent myeloblastoma cells. The addition of recombinant FGF7 to the coculture of BM cells and Med1(-/-) MEFs increased BM cells and LTC-ICs. FGF7 and its cognate receptor, FGFR2IIIb, were undetectable in BM cells, but MEFs and BM stromal cells expressed both. FGF7 activated downstream targets of FGFR2IIIb in Med1(+/+) and Med1(-/-) MEFs and BM stromal cells. Taken together, we propose that FGF7 supports HSPCs and leukemia-initiating cells indirectly via FGFR2IIIb expressed on stromal cells.

Georgiou GK, Igglezou M, Sainis I, et al.
Impact of breast cancer surgery on angiogenesis circulating biomarkers: a prospective longitudinal study.
World J Surg Oncol. 2013; 11:213 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Debate about the potential effects that surgery might have on cancer cells dormancy and angiogenesis prompted us to investigate the impact of breast surgery on circulating angiogenesis modulating gene transcripts and proteins.
METHODS: Blood samples from 10 female patients diagnosed with breast cancer and 6 with fibroadenoma were collected before surgery and post-operatively on days 3 and 7 (breast cancer patients only). A set of 84 angiogenesis-associated transcripts were assessed using quantitative PCR arrays, and circulating protein levels (vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA), IL8 and fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) were measured using ELISA in the same samples. The results were investigated against clinicopathological data and patient outcome.
RESULTS: Plasma levels of VEGFA and IL8 after surgery were significantly elevated in the breast cancer group compared to the control group (P = 0.038 and P = 0.021, respectively). In the cohort of breast cancer patients, VEGFA increased on day 3 (P = 0.038) and declined on day 7 (P= 0.017), while IL8 did not change on day 3 but showed a significant decline on day 7 (P = 0.02). FGF2 levels did not change significantly over time. Regarding gene transcripts, we detected upregulation of a significant number of angiogenesis-specific genes in patients with breast cancer versus controls: sphingosine kinase 1(SPHK1), epidermal growth factor (EGF), vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGFC), neuropilin 1 (NRP1), fibroblast growth factor (FGF1), laminin alpha 5 (LAMA5), collagen type IV alpha 3 (COL4A3), IL8, ephrin B2 (EFNB2), ephrin A3 (EFNA3), tyrosine endothelial kinase (TEK), integrin beta 3 (ITGB3), AKT1, thrombospondin 1 (THBS1), chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 11 (CCL11) and TIMP metallopeptidase inhibitor 3 (TIMP3). Surgery induced an altered expression in several keygenes in breast cancer patients. We identified an upregulation of COL4A3 and downregulation of chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 9 (CXCL9), EGF, FGF1, Kinase insert domain receptor (KDR), Placental growth factor (PGF), TIMP3 and VEGFC.
CONCLUSION: Breast cancer patients have a different expression profile of circulating angiogenesis biomarkers compared to patients with fibroadenoma. Moreover, mastectomy promotes a transient increase of VEGFA and a shift in the expression patterns of a broad panel of angiogenesis-related circulating gene transcripts.

Nomura T, Morishita A, Jian G, et al.
Expression of angiogenic factors in hepatocarcinogenesis: Identification by antibody arrays.
Oncol Rep. 2013; 30(5):2476-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
Angiogenesis plays a pivotal role in the progression and metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the expression of a wide range of angiogenic factors remains obscure in HCC. The purpose of the present study was to determine the expression of various angiogenic factors related to hepatocarcinogenesis. We examined the expression of 19 angiogenic factors using antibody arrays in human tissues of various liver diseases, including HCC. We also studied the expression of 19 angiogenic factors in the human HCC cell lines PLC/PRF/5, Hep 3B, HuH7, HLE, HLF and Li-7 and the normal hepatocyte cell line ACBRI3716. In human tissues, although the expression of acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF) was found to increase from normal liver to chronic hepatitis, its expression remained unchanged in the transition from chronic hepatitis to HCC. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was elevated in liver cirrhosis, but the amounts remained unchanged in the transition from liver cirrhosis to HCC. In contrast, either interleukin-8 (IL-8) or basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) was upregulated in HCC. In the HCC cell lines PLC/PRF/5, Hep 3B and HuH-7, the expression of IL-8 was elevated. Although IL-8 was not elevated, bFGF was upregulated in the other HCC cell lines HLE, HLF and Li-7. Thus, either IL-8 or bFGF was upregulated in HCC cell lines and in HCC tissue samples. These data suggest that the upregulation of either IL-8 or bFGF is closely related to the transition from liver cirrhosis into HCC. Therefore, the analysis of the expression of these cytokines using protein arrays may identify novel therapies for individual patients with HCC.

Rong G, Kang H, Wang Y, et al.
Candidate markers that associate with chemotherapy resistance in breast cancer through the study on Taxotere-induced damage to tumor microenvironment and gene expression profiling of carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs).
PLoS One. 2013; 8(8):e70960 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recently, emerging evidence has suggested that carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) could contribute to chemotherapy resistances in breast cancer treatment. The aim of this study is to compare the gene expression profiling of CAFs before and after chemotherapy and pick up candidate genes that might associate with chemotherapy resistance and could be used as predictors of treatment response. CAFs were cultured from surgically resected primary breast cancers and identified with immunohistochemistry (IHC) and Flow cytometry (FCM). MDA-MB-231 cells were cultured as the breast cancer cell line. Cell adhesion assay, invasion assay, and proliferation assay (MTT) were performed to compare the function of MDA-MB-231 cells co-cultured with CAFs and MDA-MB-231 cells without co-culture, after chemotherapy. Totally 6 pairs of CAFs were prepared for microarray analysis. Each pair of CAFs were obtained from the same patient and classified into two groups. One group was treated with Taxotere (regarded as after chemotherapy) while the other group was not processed with Taxotere (regarded as before chemotherapy). According to our study, the primary-cultured CAFs exhibited characteristic phenotype. After chemotherapy, MDA-MB-231 cells co-cultured with CAFs displayed increasing adhesion, invasiveness and proliferation abilities, compared with MDA-MB-231 cells without CAFs. Moreover, 35 differentially expressed genes (absolute fold change >2) were identified between CAFs after chemotherapy and before chemotherapy, including 17 up-regulated genes and 18 down-regulated genes. CXCL2, MMP1, IL8, RARRES1, FGF1, and CXCR7 were picked up as the candidate markers, of which the differential expression in CAFs before and after chemotherapy was confirmed. The results indicate the changes of gene expression in CAFs induced by Taxotere treatment and propose the candidate markers that possibly associate with chemotherapy resistance in breast cancer.

Slattery ML, John EM, Stern MC, et al.
Associations with growth factor genes (FGF1, FGF2, PDGFB, FGFR2, NRG2, EGF, ERBB2) with breast cancer risk and survival: the Breast Cancer Health Disparities Study.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013; 140(3):587-601 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Growth factors (GF) stimulate cell proliferation through binding to cell membrane receptors and are thought to be involved in cancer risk and survival. We examined how genetic variation in epidermal growth factor (EGF), neuregulin 2 (NRG2), ERBB2 (HER2/neu), fibroblast growth factors 1 and 2 (FGF1 and FGF2) and its receptor 2 (FGFR2), and platelet-derived growth factor B (PDGFB) independently and collectively influence breast cancer risk and survival. We analyzed data from the Breast Cancer Health Disparities Study which includes Hispanic (2,111 cases, 2,597 controls) and non-Hispanic white (1,481 cases, 1,586 controls) women. Adaptive rank-truncated product (ARTP) analysis was conducted to determine gene significance. Odds ratios (OR) and 95 % confidence intervals were obtained from conditional logistic regression models to estimate breast cancer risk and Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) of dying from breast cancer. We assessed Native American (NA) ancestry using 104 ancestry informative markers. We observed few significant associations with breast cancer risk overall or by menopausal status other than for FGFR2 rs2981582. This SNP was significantly associated with ER+/PR+ (OR 1.66, 95 % CI 1.37-2.00) and ER+/PR- (OR 1.54, 95 % CI 1.03-2.31) tumors. Multiple SNPs in FGF1, FGF2, and NRG2 significantly interacted with multiple SNPs in EGFR, ERBB2, FGFR2, and PDGFB, suggesting that breast cancer risk is dependent on the collective effects of genetic variants in other GFs. Both FGF1 and ERBB2 significantly influenced overall survival, especially among women with low levels of NA ancestry (P ARTP = 0.007 and 0.003, respectively). Our findings suggest that genetic variants in growth factors signaling appear to influence breast cancer risk through their combined effects. Genetic variation in ERBB2 and FGF1 appear to be associated with survival after diagnosis with breast cancer.

Tanabe E, Kitayoshi M, Hirane M, et al.
Downregulation of activation factors of endothelia and fibroblasts via lysophosphatidic acid signaling in a mouse lung cancer LL/2 cell line.
J Recept Signal Transduct Res. 2013; 33(5):286-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
Angiogenesis stimulates the invasive and metastatic process of cancer cells. It is also known that activated fibroblasts promote cancer cell growth and enhance invasive and metastatic potential. Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a biological mediator and interacts with G protein-coupled transmembrane LPA receptors (LPA1 to LPA6). In this study, to assess an involvement of LPA3 on angiogenesis and fibroblast activation, the Lpar3-expressing cells were generated from mouse lung cancer LL/2 cells, which unexpressed LPA3. The Lpar3-expressing cells were maintained in serum-free Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium for 48 h, and cell motility assay was performed with a cell culture Insert. When endothelial F-2 cells and 3T3 fibroblasts were cultured with conditioned medium from the Lpar3-expressing cells, their cell motile activities were significantly lower than the Lpar3-unexpressing (control) cells. Expression levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (Vegf) and fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) genes in the Lpar3-expressing cells were measured by quantitative real time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis. The expressions of Vegf-A. Fgfa and Fgfb genes in the Lpar3-expressing cells were significantly lower than those in control cells, correlating with the effects on cell motile activities of F-2 and 3T3 cells. These results suggest that LPA signaling through LPA3 may inhibit angiogenesis and fibroblast activation in mouse lung cancer cells.

Müller MH, Drieschner N, Focken T, et al.
HMGA2 expression in the PC-3 prostate cancer cell line is autonomous of growth factor stimulation.
Anticancer Res. 2013; 33(8):3069-78 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: High-mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2) protein acts as an oncofoetal transcriptional regulator. In mesenchymal tissues, its expression can be induced by a variety of growth factors such as fibroblast growth factor-1 (FGF1) and platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB) as well as by foetal bovine serum (FBS), thus enhancing proliferation.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: To examine these effects in epithelial malignancies, we used the PC-3 prostate cancer cell line for assaying proliferation and HMGA2 expression in response to incubation with growth factors and FBS. The HMGA2 locus was investigated by fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) for loss, amplification or re-arrangement.
RESULTS: PC-3 is a cell line that moderately overexpresses HMGA2. None of the growth factors nor FBS caused significantly increased expression of HMGA2. In contrast, a significantly augmented proliferation rate was observed when applying FGF1 or PDGF-BB for 12 h.
CONCLUSION: HMGA2 is expressed independently of external stimuli, whereas proliferation stimulated by growth factors is independent of further elevated HMGA2 expression.

Kurimchak A, Haines DS, Garriga J, et al.
Activation of p107 by fibroblast growth factor, which is essential for chondrocyte cell cycle exit, is mediated by the protein phosphatase 2A/B55α holoenzyme.
Mol Cell Biol. 2013; 33(16):3330-42 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The phosphorylation state of pocket proteins during the cell cycle is determined at least in part by an equilibrium between inducible cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) and serine/threonine protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). Two trimeric holoenzymes consisting of the core PP2A catalytic/scaffold dimer and either the B55α or PR70 regulatory subunit have been implicated in the activation of p107/p130 and pRB, respectively. While the phosphorylation state of p107 is very sensitive to forced changes of B55α levels in human cell lines, regulation of p107 in response to physiological modulation of PP2A/B55α has not been elucidated. Here we show that fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1), which induces maturation and cell cycle exit in chondrocytes, triggers rapid accumulation of p107-PP2A/B55α complexes coinciding with p107 dephosphorylation. Reciprocal solution-based mass spectrometric analysis identified the PP2A/B55α complex as a major component in p107 complexes, which also contain E2F/DPs, DREAM subunits, and/or cyclin/CDK complexes. Of note, p107 is one of the preferred partners of B55α, which also associates with pRB in RCS cells. FGF1-induced dephosphorylation of p107 results in its rapid accumulation in the nucleus and formation of larger complexes containing p107 and enhances its interaction with E2F4 and other p107 partners. Consistent with a key role of B55α in the rapid activation of p107 in chondrocytes, limited ectopic expression of B55α results in marked dephosphorylation of p107 while B55α knockdown results in hyperphosphorylation. More importantly, knockdown of B55α dramatically delays FGF1-induced dephosphorylation of p107 and slows down cell cycle exit. Moreover, dephosphorylation of p107 in response to FGF1 treatment results in early recruitment of p107 to the MYC promoter, an FGF1/E2F-regulated gene. Our results suggest a model in which FGF1 mediates rapid dephosphorylation and activation of p107 independently of the CDK activities that maintain p130 and pRB hyperphosphorylation for several hours after p107 dephosphorylation in maturing chondrocytes.

Lin ZY, Chuang WL
Hepatocellular carcinoma cells cause different responses in expressions of cancer-promoting genes in different cancer-associated fibroblasts.
Kaohsiung J Med Sci. 2013; 29(6):312-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer-associated fibroblast (CAF) is one of the most crucial components of the tumor microenvironment to promote the invasiveness of cancer cells. The interactions between cancer cells and CAFs are bidirectional. Our recent study showed that up-regulations of chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2), chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 26 (CCL26), interleukin 6 (IL6), and lysyl oxidase-like 2 (LOXL2) genes in cancer cells were parts of the common effects of CAFs on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells to promote proliferation, migration and invasion of cancer cells. However, the subject of how HCC cells to influence the gene expressions of CAFs still needs to be clarified. The purpose of this study was to investigate this issue. Two human HCC (HCC24/KMUH, HCC38/KMUH) and two human CAF cell lines (F26/KMUH, F28/KMUH) were studied. Influence of HCC38/KMUH cancer cells on differential expressions of genes in F28/KMUH CAFs was detected by microarray to select target genes for further analysis. Both HCC cell lines increased proliferation (all p < 0.005) and migration (all p < 0.0001) of two CAF cell lines. HCC24/KMUH cancer cells had stronger ability to promote migration of F26/KMUH CAFs than HCC38/KMUH cancer cells did (p < 0.0001). Eleven up-regulated cancer-promoting genes, including apelin (APLN), CCL2, CCL26, fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1), fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), IL6, mucin 1 (MUC1), LOXL2, platelet-derived growth factor alpha polypeptide (PDGFA), phosphoglycerate kinase 1 (PGK1), and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) detected by microarray showed good correlation with results of quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction study. Among these genes, HCC24/KMUH cancer cells had same tendency of effects on differential expressions of genes in F28/KMUH CAFs as HCC38/KMUH cancer cells did. However, the responses of F26/KMUH CAFs to different HCC cell lines were variable. Only PGK1 gene was consistently up-regulated and PDGFA gene was consistently down-regulated caused by both HCC cell lines in F26/KMUH CAFs. Besides PGK1 gene, HCC38/KMUH cancer cells only up-regulated APLN, LOXL2, and VEGFA genes and HCC24/KMUH cancer cells only up-regulated FGF2 gene in F26/KMUH CAFs. In conclusion, HCC cells can promote proliferation and migration of CAFs. However, the impact of HCC cells on differential expressions of cancer-promoting genes in CAFs is influenced by the characteristics of CAFs. This implies that blocking single or several particular cancer-promoting genes in CAFs is unable to become a common stratagem for the treatment of HCC.

Ishigami T, Hida Y, Matsudate Y, et al.
The involvement of fibroblast growth factor receptor signaling pathways in dermatofibroma and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans.
J Med Invest. 2013; 60(1-2):106-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) and their receptors (FGFRs) control a wide range of biological functions; however, their involvement in the pathogenesis of dermatofibroma (DF) and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) is currently unknown. In this study, we first confirmed the histological diagnosis by detecting fusion COL1A1-PDGFB transcripts in DFSP, and examined the expression of all FGFRs (FGFR1-4), some of their ligands (FGF1, 2, 9), and forkhead box N1 (FOXN1) as a downstream target of FGFR3 in DF and DFSP by immunohistochemical analysis. Although we failed to detect the expression of FGF1 and FGF9 as specific ligands for FGFR3 in DF, overexpression of FGFR3 and FOXN1 was observed in the epidermal regions of DF, suggesting that the epidermal regions of DF were similar to seborrhoeic keratosis both in terms of histological features and the activation of FGFR3/FOXN1. In addition, strong expression of FGF2 and FGFR4 was observed in the tumor lesions of DF. Expression patterns of FGFR3/FOXN1 and FGF2/FGFR4 in DF were in contrast with those of DFSP. The activation of FGFR signaling pathways may be not only relevant to the pathogenesis of DF, but also very useful in the differential diagnosis of DF and DFSP.

Yang B, Bhusari S, Kueck J, et al.
Methylation profiling defines an extensive field defect in histologically normal prostate tissues associated with prostate cancer.
Neoplasia. 2013; 15(4):399-408 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Prostate cancer (PCa) is typically found as a multifocal disease suggesting the potential for molecular defects within the morphologically normal tissue. The frequency and spatial extent of DNA methylation changes encompassing a potential field defect are unknown. A comparison of non-tumor-associated (NTA) prostate to histologically indistinguishable tumor-associated (TA) prostate tissues detected a distinct profile of DNA methylation alterations (0.2%) using genome-wide DNA arrays based on the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements 18 sequence that tile both gene-rich and poor regions. Hypomethylation (87%) occurred more frequently than hypermethylation (13%). Several of the most significantly altered loci (CAV1, EVX1, MCF2L, and FGF1) were then used as probes to map the extent of these DNA methylation changes in normal tissues from prostates containing cancer. In TA tissues, the extent of methylation was similar both adjacent (2 mm) and at a distance (>1 cm) from tumor foci. These loci were also able to distinguish NTA from TA tissues in a validation set of patient samples. These mapping studies indicate that a spatially widespread epigenetic defect occurs in the peripheral prostate tissues of men who have PCa that may be useful in the detection of this disease.

Zaid TM, Yeung TL, Thompson MS, et al.
Identification of FGFR4 as a potential therapeutic target for advanced-stage, high-grade serous ovarian cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2013; 19(4):809-20 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: To evaluate the prognostic value of fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) protein expression in patients with advanced-stage, high-grade serous ovarian cancer, delineate the functional role of FGFR4 in ovarian cancer progression, and evaluate the feasibility of targeting FGFR4 in serous ovarian cancer treatment.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Immunolocalization of FGFR4 was conducted on 183 ovarian tumor samples. The collected FGFR4 expression data were correlated with overall survival using Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses. The effects of FGFR4 silencing on ovarian cancer cell growth, survival, invasiveness, apoptosis, and FGF1-mediated signaling pathway activation were evaluated by transfecting cells with FGFR4-specific siRNAs. An orthotopic mouse model was used to evaluate the effect of injection of FGFR4-specific siRNAs and FGFR4 trap protein encapsulated in nanoliposomes on ovarian tumor growth in vivo.
RESULTS: Overexpression of FGFR4 protein was significantly associated with decreased overall survival durations. FGFR4 silencing significantly decreased the proliferation, survival, and invasiveness and increased apoptosis of ovarian cancer cells. Also, downregulation of FGFR4 significantly abrogated the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), and WNT signaling pathways, which are activated by FGF1. Targeting FGFR4 with the FGFR4-specific siRNAs and FGFR4 trap protein significantly decreased ovarian tumor growth in vivo.
CONCLUSIONS: FGFR4 is a prognostic marker for advanced-stage, high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma. Silencing FGFR4 and inhibiting ligand-receptor binding significantly decrease ovarian tumor growth both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that targeting ovarian cancer cells with high levels of FGFR4 protein expression is a new therapeutic modality for this disease and will improve survival of it.

Gourlaouen M, Welti JC, Vasudev NS, Reynolds AR
Essential role for endocytosis in the growth factor-stimulated activation of ERK1/2 in endothelial cells.
J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(11):7467-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) stimulates angiogenesis by binding to VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2) on endothelial cells (ECs). Downstream activation of the extracellular related kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) is important for angiogenesis to proceed. Receptor internalization has been implicated in VEGFR2 signaling, but its role in the activation of ERK1/2 is unclear. To explore this question we utilized pitstop and dynasore, two small molecule inhibitors of endocytosis. First, we confirmed that both inhibitors block the internalization of VEGFR2 in ECs. We then stimulated ECs with VEGF in the presence and absence of the inhibitors and examined VEGFR2 signaling to ERK1/2. Activation of VEGFR2 and C-Raf still occurred in the presence of the inhibitors, whereas the activation of MEK1/2 and ERK1/2 was abrogated. Therefore, although internalization is not required for activation of either VEGFR2 or C-Raf in ECs stimulated with VEGF, internalization is necessary to activate the more distal kinases in the cascade. Importantly, inhibition of internalization also prevented activation of ERK1/2 when ECs were stimulated with other pro-angiogenic growth factors, namely fibroblast growth factor 2 and hepatocyte growth factor. In contrast, the same inhibitors did not block ERK1/2 activation in fibroblasts or cancer cells stimulated with growth factors. Finally, we show that these small molecule inhibitors of endocytosis block angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, receptor internalization may be a generic requirement for pro-angiogenic growth factors to activate ERK1/2 signaling in human ECs, and targeting receptor trafficking may present a therapeutic opportunity to block tumor angiogenesis.

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