Gene Summary

Gene:FGF2; fibroblast growth factor 2
Aliases: BFGF, FGFB, FGF-2, HBGF-2
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family. FGF family members bind heparin and possess broad mitogenic and angiogenic activities. This protein has been implicated in diverse biological processes, such as limb and nervous system development, wound healing, and tumor growth. The mRNA for this gene contains multiple polyadenylation sites, and is alternatively translated from non-AUG (CUG) and AUG initiation codons, resulting in five different isoforms with distinct properties. The CUG-initiated isoforms are localized in the nucleus and are responsible for the intracrine effect, whereas, the AUG-initiated form is mostly cytosolic and is responsible for the paracrine and autocrine effects of this FGF. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:fibroblast growth factor 2
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 (7)

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: FGF2 (cancer-related)

Wang Y
Identifying key stage-specific genes and transcription factors for gastric cancer based on RNA-sequencing data.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2017; 96(4):e5691 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: To identify gastric cancer (GC)-associated genes and transcription factors (TFs) using RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) data of Asians.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The RNA-seq data (GSE36968) were downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus database, including 6 noncancerous gastric tissue samples, 5 stage I GC samples, 5 stage II GC samples, 8 stage III GC samples, and 6 stage IV GC samples. The gene expression values in each sample were calculated using Cuffdiff. Following, stage-specific genes were identified by 1-way analysis of variance and hierarchical clustering analysis. Upstream TFs were identified using Seqpos. Besides, functional enrichment analysis of stage-specific genes was performed by DAVID. In addition, the underlying protein-protein interactions (PPIs) information among stage IV-specific genes were extracted from STRING database and PPI network was constructed using Cytoscape software.
RESULTS: A total of 3576 stage-specific genes were identified, including 813 specifically up-regulated genes in the normal gastric tissues, 2224 stage I and II-specific genes, and 539 stage IV-specific genes. Also, a total of 9 and 11 up-regulated TFs were identified for the stage I and II-specific genes and stage IV-specific genes, respectively. Functional enrichment showed SPARC, MMP17, and COL6A3 were related to extracellular matrix. Notably, 2 regulatory pathways HOXA4-GLI3-RUNX2-FGF2 and HMGA2-PRKCA were obtained from the PPI network for stage IV-specific genes. In the PPI network, TFs HOXA4 and HMGA2 might function via mediating other genes.
CONCLUSION: These stage-specific genes and TFs might act in the pathogenesis of GC in Asians.

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.

Kumagai S, Ishibashi K, Kataoka M, et al.
Impact of Sulfatase-2 on cancer progression and prognosis in patients with renal cell carcinoma.
Cancer Sci. 2016; 107(11):1632-1641 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Heparan sulfate-specific endosulfatase-2 (SULF-2) can modulate the signaling of heparan sulfate proteoglycan-binding proteins. The involvement of SULF-2 in cancer growth varies by cancer type. The roles of SULF-2 expression in the progression and prognosis of renal cell carcinomas (RCC) have not yet been fully clarified. In the present study, the expression levels of SULF-2 mRNA and protein in 49 clinical RCC samples were determined by RT-PCR and immunostaining. The existence of RCC with higher SULF-2 expression and lower SULF-2 expression compared to the adjacent normal kidney tissues was suggested. High SULF-2 expression was correlated with an early clinical stage and less invasive pathological factors. Low SULF-2 expression was correlated with an advanced stage and higher invasive factors. Three-year cancer-specific survival (CSS) for high SULF-2 RCC and low SULF-2 RCC were 100% and 71.4%, respectively (log-rank P = 0.0019), with a significantly shorter CSS observed in low SULF-2 RCC patients. The influence of SULF-2 expression level on Wnt/VEGF/FGF signaling, cell viability and invasive properties was examined in three RCC cell lines, Caki-2, ACHN and 786-O, using a SULF-2 suppression model involving siRNA or a SULF-2 overexpression model involving a plasmid vector. High SULF-2 expression enhanced Wnt signaling and Wnt-induced cell viability, but not cell invasion. In contrast, low levels of SULF-2 expression significantly enhanced both cell invasion and viability through the activation of VEGF/FGF pathways. RCC with lower SULF-2 expression might have a higher potential for cell invasion and proliferation, leading to a poorer prognosis via the activation of VEGF and/or FGF signaling.

Czaplinska D, Mieczkowski K, Supernat A, et al.
Interactions between FGFR2 and RSK2-implications for breast cancer prognosis.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(10):13721-13731 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We have previously demonstrated that fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2) activates ribosomal s6 kinase 2 (RSK2) in mammary epithelial cells and that this pathway promotes in vitro cell growth and migration. Potential clinical significance of FGFR2 and RSK2 association has never been investigated. Herein, we have undertaken an evaluation of a possible relationship between FGFR2/RSK2 interdependence and disease outcome in breast cancer (BCa) patients. The clinical analysis was complemented by an in vitro investigation of an involvement of RSK2 in the regulation of FGFR2 function. Primary tumour samples from 152 stage I-III BCa patients were examined for FGFR2 and RSK2 gene and protein expression. FGFR2 showed a positive correlation with RSK2 at both protein (p = 0.003) and messenger RNA (mRNA) (p = 0.001) levels. Lack of both FGFR2 and activated RSK (RSK-P) significantly correlated with better disease-free survival (DFS) (p = 0.01). Patients with tumours displaying immunoreactivity for either or both FGFR2 and RSK-P had 4.89-fold higher risk of recurrence when compared to the FGFR2/RSK-P-negative subgroup. FGFR2-RSK2 interactions were verified by co-immunoprecipitation and internalization assays in HB2 mammary epithelial cell line (characterized by high endogenous FGFR2 and RSK2 expression). In vitro analyses revealed that FGFR2 and RSK2 formed an indirect complex and that activated RSK exerted a significant impact on fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2)-triggered internalization of FGFR2. Our results suggest that the FGFR2-RSK2 signalling pathway is involved in pathophysiology of BCa and evaluation of FGFR2/RSK-P expression may be useful in disease prognostication.

Xie YG, Yu Y, Hou LK, et al.
FYN promotes breast cancer progression through epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(2):1000-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
FYN, one of the members of the Src family of kinases (SFKs), has been reported to be overexpressed in various types of cancers and correlated with cell motility and proliferation. However, the mechanism is still unclear. In the present study, we found that FYN was overexpressed in breast cancer and overexpression of FYN promoted cell proliferation, migration and invasion in the MCF10A cells, whereas depletion of FYN suppressed cell proliferation, migration and invasion in the MDA-MB-231 cells. Moreover, FYN upregulated the expression of mesenchymal markers and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related transcription factors, and downregulated the expression of epithelial markers, suggesting that FYN induces EMT in breast cancer cells. Furthermore, FYN was transcriptionally regulated by FOXO1 and mediated FGF2-induced EMT through both the PI3K/AKT and ERK/MAPK pathways.

Kurimoto R, Iwasawa S, Ebata T, et al.
Drug resistance originating from a TGF-β/FGF-2-driven epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and its reversion in human lung adenocarcinoma cell lines harboring an EGFR mutation.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(5):1825-36 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a malignant cancer phenotype characterized by augmented invasion and metastasis, chemoresistance, and escape from host-immunity. This study sought to identify efficient methods for inducing EMT reversion, to evaluate alterations in chemosensitivity and immune-protectiveness, and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms. In this study, the human lung adenocarcinoma cell lines PC-9 and HCC-827, harboring an EGFR mutation, were treated with TGF-β and FGF-2 to induce EMT. The phenotypic alterations were evaluated by RT-PCR, fluorescent immunohistochemistry, cell-mobility, and flow cytometry. Chemosensitivity to gefitinib and cisplatin was evaluated using an MTT assay and apoptosis. Immune-protectiveness was evaluated by PD-L1 expression. A combination of TGF-β and FGF-2 efficiently induced EMT in both cell lines: through Smad3 pathway in PC-9, and through Smad3, MEK/Erk, and mTOR pathways in HCC-827. The mTOR inhibitor PP242, metformin, and DMSO reverted EMT to different extent and through different pathways, depending on the cell lines. EMT induction reduced the sensitivity to gefitinib in both cell lines and to cisplatin in HCC-827, and it increased PD-L1 expression in both cell lines. EMT reversion using each of the 3 agents partly restored chemosensitivity and suppressed PD-L1 expression. Thus, chemoresistance and increased PD-L1 expression caused by EMT can be successfully reverted by EMT-reverting agents.

Kubeczko M, Nowara E, Karwasiecka D, et al.
C-C motif ligand 11 reduction in CLL patients serum after vitamin D supplementation.
Hematology. 2016; 21(6):343-50 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Vitamin D (VD) deficiency results in a worse prognosis in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and may affect the production of cytokines. Nonetheless, there is the lack of studies dealing with VD supplementation and its impact on chemokines in CLL patients.
AIM: The primary endpoint of our interventional study was to evaluate the effect of cholecalciferol supplementation on serum chemokines levels in CLL patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Eighteen subjects with CLL were enrolled for the study. Six-month-long cholecalciferol supplementation was performed in CLL patients with serum 25-OH-D3 levels below 30 ng/ml. Cytokines levels were assessed at the beginning of the study and after 6 months. Baseline measurements of cytokines were compared to those in apparently healthy controls.
RESULTS: Increased levels of CCL2, CCL3, CCL4, CXCL8, CXCL10, TNFα, bFGF, G-CSF, and VEGF were found in CLL patients in comparison with the healthy controls. In the course of the VD supplementation a decrease in serum levels of chemokines CCL11, CCL3, and cytokine PDGF-BB was observed. The decrease of CCL11 was found in CLL patients on VD supplementation solely, whereas the decrease of CCL3 and PDGF-BB was observed in CLL subjects on both chemotherapy and VD supplementation.
CONCLUSION: The VD supplementation may exert beneficial effect on chemokines levels in CLL patients with VD deficiency.

Yamada K, Miyamoto Y, Tsujii A, et al.
Cell surface localization of importin α1/KPNA2 affects cancer cell proliferation by regulating FGF1 signalling.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:21410 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Importin α1 is involved in nuclear import as a receptor for proteins with a classical nuclear localization signal (cNLS). Here, we report that importin α1 is localized to the cell surface in several cancer cell lines and detected in their cultured medium. We also found that exogenously added importin α1 is associated with the cell membrane via interaction with heparan sulfate. Furthermore, we revealed that the cell surface importin α1 recognizes cNLS-containing substrates. More particularly, importin α1 bound directly to FGF1 and FGF2, secreted cNLS-containing growth factors, and addition of exogenous importin α1 enhanced the activation of ERK1/2, downstream targets of FGF1 signalling, in FGF1-stimulated cancer cells. Additionally, anti-importin α1 antibody treatment suppressed the importin α1-FGF1 complex formation and ERK1/2 activation, resulting in decreased cell growth. This study provides novel evidence that functional importin α1 is located at the cell surface, where it accelerates the proliferation of cancer cells.

Yang L, Xiao M, Li X, et al.
Arginine ADP-ribosyltransferase 1 promotes angiogenesis in colorectal cancer via the PI3K/Akt pathway.
Int J Mol Med. 2016; 37(3):734-42 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Arginine adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-ribosyl-transferase 1 (ART1) is known to play an important role in many physiological and pathological processes. Previous studies have demonstrated that ART1 promotes proliferation, invasion and metastasis in colon carcinoma. However, it was unclear whether ART1 is involved in angiogenesis in cases of colorectal cancer (CRC). In the present study, lentiviral vector‑mediated ART1‑cDNA or ART1-shRNA were transfected into LoVo cells, and the LoVo cells transfected with ART1-cDNA or ART1-shRNA were co-cultured with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) to determine the influence of ART1 on HUVECs. The proliferation, migration and angiogenesis of HUVECs were monitored using a cell counting kit-8 assay, a Transwell migration assay and immunohistochemical analysis in intrasplenic allograft tumors, respectively. Hypoxia‑inducible factor 1-α (HIF-1α), total (t-)Akt, phosphorylated (p-)Akt, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) expression levels were detected via western blot analysis. Our results revealed that HUVECs which were co-cultured with ART1-cDNA LoVo cells showed higher proliferation, migration and angiogenic abilities, but a reduction was noted in those cultured with ART1-shRNA LoVo cells; p-Akt, HIF-1α, VEGF and bFGF expression was increased in HUVECs cultured with ART1‑cDNA-transfected LoVo cells, but reduced in ART1-shRNA-transfected LoVo cells. In a mouse xenograft model, we noted that the tumor microvessel density (MVD) was significantly increased in intrasplenic transplanted ART1‑cDNA CT26 tumors but decreased in intrasplenic transplanted ART1‑shRNA tumors. These data suggest that ART1 promoted the expression of HIF-1α via the Akt pathway in tumor cells. It also upregulated VEGF and bFGF and enhanced angiogenesis in HUVECs. Thus, we suggest that ART1 plays an important role in the invasion of CRC cells and the metastasis of CRC.

Shi H, Xu J, Zhao R, et al.
FGF2 regulates proliferation, migration, and invasion of ECA109 cells through PI3K/Akt signalling pathway in vitro.
Cell Biol Int. 2016; 40(5):524-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
Esophageal cancer is one of the most common malignant cancers that arise from esophagus tissues. Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) has been implicated in multiple biological functions and was considered as an oncogenic factor in tumorigenesis. However, the effects of FGF2 in esophageal carcinoma are yet to be fully elucidated. To better understand the function of FGF2 in esophageal cancer, we used the esophageal cancer cell line ECA109 as a cell model and downregulated FGF2 expression using RNAi; the results showed that insufficient expression of FGF2 inhibited cells proliferation, migration, and invasion of ECA109 cells. Meanwhile, the proliferation, migration, and invasion abilities were stimulated after treatment of exogenous FGF2. In addition, a PI3K/Akt signalling pathway inhibitor (LY294002) alleviated the tumorigenic effects of FGF2. These findings implied that the oncogenic effects of FGF2 was mediated, at least in part, through the PI3K/Akt signalling pathway and FGF2 may be a potential therapeutic target to constrain the tumorigenesis of esophageal cancer.

Okamoto S, Nitta M, Maruyama T, et al.
Bevacizumab changes vascular structure and modulates the expression of angiogenic factors in recurrent malignant gliomas.
Brain Tumor Pathol. 2016; 33(2):129-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
Bevacizumab (BV), a monoclonal antibody against vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), is currently used in the treatment of malignant glioma. To understand mechanisms of resistance to BV, we investigated morphological changes in tumor vessels and expression of angiogenic factors, such as VEGF, Flt-1, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), and platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB), in four autopsied tumors after BV treatment. Three patients had glioblastomas; the fourth had a secondary glioblastoma that developed from a diffuse astrocytoma. BV was administered because of recurrence following the use of the Stupp regimen in these four patients. We compared the initial surgical specimen with that obtained after death following BV treatment. Immunohistochemical staining of the autopsied tumors showed that Flt-1 expression increased while VEGF expression was significantly reduced. Additionally, other angiogenic factors, particularly bFGF, were enhanced. Interestingly, the proliferation of endothelial cells was reduced, but remarkable proliferation of pericytes was observed. These results suggest that following BV treatment, glioblastomas can grow tumor vessels by expressing various angiogenic factors. These mechanisms might be important for rapid regrowth and blood brain barrier repair after BV treatment. Inhibition of multiple angiogenic factors will be required to control tumor vessels in glioblastoma.

Hu M, Hu Y, He J, Li B
Prognostic Value of Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor (bFGF) in Lung Cancer: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(1):e0147374 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) is known to stimulate angiogenesis and thus to influence the proliferation, migration and survival of tumor cells. Many studies examined the relationship between human bFGF overexpression and survival in lung cancer patients, but the results have been mixed. To systematically summarize the clinical prognostic function of bFGF in lung cancer, we performed this systematic review with meta-analysis.
METHOD: Studies were identified by an electronic search of PubMed, EMBASE, China National Knowledge Infrastructure and Wanfang databases, including publications prior to August 2014. Pooled hazard ratios (HR) for overall survival (OS) were aggregated and quantitatively analyzed by meta-analysis.
RESULTS: Twenty-two studies (n = 2154) were evaluated in the meta-analysis. Combined HR suggested that bFGF overexpression had an adverse impact on survival of patients with lung cancer(HR = 1.202,95%CI, 1.022-1.382). Our subgroup analysis revealed that the combined HR evaluating bFGF expression on OS in operable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was 1.553 (95%CI, 1.120-1.986); the combined HR in small cell lung cancer (SCLC) was 1.667 (95%CI, 1.035-2.299). There was no significant impact of bFGF expression on survival in advanced NSCLC.
CONCLUSION: This meta-analysis showed that bFGF overexpression is a potential indicator of worse prognosis for patients with operable NSCLC and SCLC, but is not associated with outcome in advanced NSCLC. The data suggests that high bFGF expression is highly related to poor prognosis. Nevertheless,more high-quality studies should be performed in order to provide additional evidence for the prognostic value of bFGF in lung cancer.

Wang M, Zhang J, Tong L, et al.
MiR-195 is a key negative regulator of hepatocellular carcinoma metastasis by targeting FGF2 and VEGFA.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(11):14110-20 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary tumor of liver and the fifth most common cancer in the world. Lung is the most frequent site for extra hepatic metastasis from hepatocellular carcinoma, while the cause and mechanism of it is still poor understood. Here, we identify that the expression of miR-195 is markedly impaired in the lung metastasis cell lines of HCC. The result of Real-time PCR reveals the expression of miR-195 is significantly downregulated in 92 HCC tissues. Low expression of miR-195 is associated with tumor size, portal vein thrombosis, TNM stage and patients survival. Luciferase reporter and ELISA assay prove that hematogenous metastasis related genes including FGF2 and VEGFA are the target genes of miR-195. Overexpression of miR-195 in HCC cell line BEL-7402 markedly inhibits the capability of migration and invasion. Taken together, our results suggest that miR-195, a tumor suppressor miRNA, contributes to the lung metastasis of HCC by negatively regulating FGF2 and VEGFA, providing key implications of miR-195 for the therapeutic intervention of HCC.

Lee J, Lee J, Kim SJ, Kim JH
Quercetin-3-O-glucoside suppresses pancreatic cancer cell migration induced by tumor-deteriorated growth factors in vitro.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(4):2473-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Analysis using Universal exPress Codes (UPCs) with the public microarray database GEO indicates significantly higher mRNA expressions of VEGF-A, bFGF, and bFGFR2 in pancreatic cancers than those in normal pancreatic tissues. Human pancreatic cancer cell line CFPAC-1 and SNU-213 had relatively differential sensitivity to exogenous VEGF-A, bFGF, and TGF-β1 in migration property. Treatment of quercetin-3-O-glucoside suppressed the migratory activity induced by TGF-β and VEGF-A even at relatively low dosages in CFPAC-1, but not in bFGF-activated SNU-213 cells. However, high dosages of quercetin-3-O-glucoside sufficiently suppressed the migratory activity induced by bFGF in SNU-213 cells. Furthermore, co-treatment with low dose of gemcitabine plus quercetin-3-O-glucoside showed synergistic inhibition effects on the infiltrate activity induced by bFGF in CFPAC-1 and SNU-213 cells. These results collectively suggested that quercetin-3-O glucoside could act as an inhibitor of local metastasis induced by various growth factors in pancreatic cancers and be an effective adjuvant to boost chemotherapeutic efficacy of gemcitabine, currently used in pancreatic cancers.

Li L, Yu J, Duan Z, Dang HX
The effect of NFATc1 on vascular generation and the possible underlying mechanism in epithelial ovarian carcinoma.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(4):1457-66 [PubMed] Related Publications
We investigated the effect of nuclear factor of activated T cells c1 (NFATc1) on the growth and vascular generation of human ovarian carcinoma SKOV3 cell-transplanted tumors in nude mice and explored the possible underlying mechanism. NFATc1 siRNA was transfected into the SKOV3 cells, which were then subjected to immunofluorescence tests and real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to determine the transfection-induced inhibition rate. The tumor volumes in the nude mice in all groups were measured to determine the in vivo antitumor effect of NFATc1 siRNA. Immunohistochemical (IHC) methods were employed to detect NFATc1 expression in tumor tissue, combined with cytokeratin (CK) staining to label the epithelial origin of the tumor tissue. CD34 and podoplanin were used as markers for labeling microvessels and microlymphatic vessels, respectively. The densities of microvessels and microlymphatic vessels in each group were calculated and statistically analyzed. RT-PCR and western blotting were performed to detect the protein and mRNA expression levels of NFATc1, the ELR+ CXC chemokine interleukin (IL)-8, fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), and platelet-derived growth factor BB (PDGF BB) in xenografted tumor tissue in all groups. NFATc1 was highly expressed in tumor tissue in the control groups. The intervention group exhibited a tumor growth inhibition rate of 57.08% and presented a lower tumor weight and volume compared with the two control groups. In the control groups, the microvessel densities were 12.00 ± 1.65 and 11.47 ± 0.32, respectively, and the microlymphatic vessel densities were 10.03 ± 0.96 and 9.95 ± 1.12; these values were significantly higher than in the intervention group. RT-PCR and western blot shows that NFATc1 siRNA could markedly suppress the expression of IL-8, FGF-2 and PDGF BB at the mRNA and the protein level. In conclusion, it was shown that NFATc1 siRNA significantly suppresses the growth and vascular generation of SKOV3 human ovarian carcinoma cell-transplanted tumors subcutaneously xenografted into nude mice. The downregulation of the expression of IL-8, FGF-2 and PDGF BB may be one of the mechanisms underlying the above inhibitory effects.

Sepulveda JL, Gutierrez-Pajares JL, Luna A, et al.
High-definition CpG methylation of novel genes in gastric carcinogenesis identified by next-generation sequencing.
Mod Pathol. 2016; 29(2):182-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastric cancers are the most frequent gastric malignancy and usually arise in the sequence of Helicobacter pylori-associated chronic gastritis. CpG methylation is a central mechanism of epigenetic gene regulation affecting cancer-related genes, and occurs early in gastric carcinogenesis. DNA samples from non-metaplastic gastric mucosa with variable levels of gastritis (non-metaplastic mucosa), intestinal metaplasia, or gastric cancer were screened with methylation arrays for CpG methylation of cancer-related genes and 30 gene targets were further characterized by high-definition bisulfite next-generation sequencing. In addition, data from The Cancer Genome Atlas were analyzed for correlation of methylation with gene expression. Overall, 13 genes had significantly increased CpG methylation in gastric cancer vs non-metaplastic mucosa (BRINP1, CDH11, CHFR, EPHA5, EPHA7, FGF2, FLI1, GALR1, HS3ST2, PDGFRA, SEZ6L, SGCE, and SNRPN). Further, most of these genes had corresponding reduced expression levels in gastric cancer compared with intestinal metaplasia, including novel hypermethylated genes in gastric cancer (FLI1, GALR1, SGCE, and SNRPN), suggesting that they may regulate neoplastic transformation from non-malignant intestinal metaplasia to cancer. Our data suggest a tumor-suppressor role for FLI1 in gastric cancer, consistent with recently reported data in breast cancer. For the genes with strongest methylation/expression correlation, namely FLI1, the expression was lowest in microsatellite-unstable tumors compared with other gastric cancer molecular subtypes. Importantly, reduced expression of hypermethylated BRINP1 and SGCE was significantly associated with favorable survival in gastric cancer. In summary, we report novel methylation gene targets that may have functional roles in discrete stages of gastric carcinogenesis and may serve as biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis of gastric cancer.

He Q, Ren X, Chen J, et al.
miR-16 targets fibroblast growth factor 2 to inhibit NPC cell proliferation and invasion via PI3K/AKT and MAPK signaling pathways.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(3):3047-58 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Dysregulation of miRNAs has been shown to contribute to the carcinogenesis and progression of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Our previous microarray data showed that miR-16 expression is significantly decreased in archived NPC tissues. Here, we confirmed that miR-16 was reduced in NPC cell lines and freshly-frozen samples. Ectopic expression of miR-16 suppressed NPC cell proliferation, migration, and invasion in vitro and inhibited tumor growth and metastatic colonization in the lung in vivo. Furthermore, fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) was identified as a direct target of miR-16, and both phosphoinositide-3- kinase/AKT (PI3K/AKT) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways were repressed after miR-16 overexpression. In addition, the restoration of FGF2 reversed the suppressive effects of miR-16. Together, these results indicated that miR-16 suppresses NPC carcinogenesis and progression by targeting FGF2, thereby representing a potential target for miRNA-based therapy for NPC in the future.

Mitsuhashi A, Goto H, Saijo A, et al.
Fibrocyte-like cells mediate acquired resistance to anti-angiogenic therapy with bevacizumab.
Nat Commun. 2015; 6:8792 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Bevacizumab exerts anti-angiogenic effects in cancer patients by inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). However, its use is still limited due to the development of resistance to the treatment. Such resistance can be regulated by various factors, although the underlying mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Here we show that bone marrow-derived fibrocyte-like cells, defined as alpha-1 type I collagen-positive and CXCR4-positive cells, contribute to the acquired resistance to bevacizumab. In mouse models of malignant pleural mesothelioma and lung cancer, fibrocyte-like cells mediate the resistance to bevacizumab as the main producer of fibroblast growth factor 2. In clinical specimens of lung cancer, the number of fibrocyte-like cells is significantly increased in bevacizumab-treated tumours, and correlates with the number of treatment cycles, as well as CD31-positive vessels. Our results identify fibrocyte-like cells as a promising cell biomarker and a potential therapeutic target to overcome resistance to anti-VEGF therapy.

Chen Y, Zhu G, Wu K, et al.
FGF2-mediated reciprocal tumor cell-endothelial cell interplay contributes to the growth of chemoresistant cells: a potential mechanism for superficial bladder cancer recurrence.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(4):4313-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
Patients with superficial bladder cancer can be definitively cured by one single transurethral resection (TUR) with additional intravesical chemotherapy; however, up to 75 % of cases display frequent and multiple recurrences. One of the major causes of recurrence is that chemotherapeutic drugs used in intravesical regimens may induce chemoresistance. However, the mechanisms by which these chemoresistant cells develop into recurrent tumors remain unclear. Recent clinical evidence revealed that the expression of pro-angiogenic factor FGF2 was associated with early local relapse in patients with superficial bladder cancer. In this study, we conducted a preliminary investigation of the mechanisms of chemoresistant cells mediated bladder cancer recurrence, focusing on FGF2-initiated tumor cell-endothelial cell interaction on chemoresistant cancer cell growth. We found that the expression of FGF2 was increased in chemoresistant bladder cell lines and in bladder tissues after intravesical chemotherapy. Although chemoresistant bladder cells grow slower than parental cells, chemoresistant bladder cancer cells had stronger ability than parental cells to stimulate endothelial cell migration, growth, and tube formation by producing FGF2. Inversely, endothelial cells significantly promoted chemoresistant bladder cancer growth in vitro and in vivo. Thus, targeting chemotherapy-induced FGF2 upregulation may provide a promising approach to manage the recurrence of superficial bladder cancer.

Ueno N, Shimizu A, Kanai M, et al.
Enhanced Expression of Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 3 IIIc Promotes Human Esophageal Carcinoma Cell Proliferation.
J Histochem Cytochem. 2016; 64(1):7-17 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Deregulated expression of fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs) and their ligands plays critical roles in tumorigenesis. The gene expression of an alternatively spliced isoforms of FGFR3, FGFR3IIIc, was analyzed by RT-PCR in samples from patients with esophageal carcinoma (EC), including esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and adenocarcinoma (EAC). The incidence of FGFR3IIIc was higher in EC [12/16 (75%); p=0.073] than in non-cancerous mucosa (NCM) [6/16 (38%)]. Indeed, an immunohistochemical analysis of early-stage ESCC showed that carcinoma cells expressing FGFR3IIIc stained positively with SCC-112, a tumor marker, and Ki67, a cell proliferation marker, suggesting that the expression of FGFR3IIIc promotes cell proliferation. We used EC-GI-10 cells endogenously expressing FGFR3IIIc as a model of ESCC to provide mechanistic insight into the role of FGFR3IIIc in ESCC. The knockdown of endogenous FGFR3 using siRNA treatment significantly abrogated cell proliferation and the overexpression of FGFR3IIIc in cells with enhanced cell proliferation. EC-GI-10 cells and ESCC from patients with EC showed endogenous expression of FGF2, a specific ligand for FGFR3IIIc, suggesting that the upregulated expression of FGFR3IIIc may create autocrine FGF signaling in ESCC. Taken together, FGFR3IIIc may have the potential to be an early-stage tumor marker and a molecular target for ESCC therapy.

Bruzzoni-Giovanelli H, González JR, Sigaux F, et al.
Genetic polymorphisms associated with increased risk of developing chronic myelogenous leukemia.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(34):36269-77 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Little is known about inherited factors associated with the risk of developing chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). We used a dedicated DNA chip containing 16 561 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) covering 1 916 candidate genes to analyze 437 CML patients and 1 144 healthy control individuals. Single SNP association analysis identified 139 SNPs that passed multiple comparisons (1% false discovery rate). The HDAC9, AVEN, SEMA3C, IKBKB, GSTA3, RIPK1 and FGF2 genes were each represented by three SNPs, the PSM family by four SNPs and the SLC15A1 gene by six. Haplotype analysis showed that certain combinations of rare alleles of these genes increased the risk of developing CML by more than two or three-fold. A classification tree model identified five SNPs belonging to the genes PSMB10, TNFRSF10D, PSMB2, PPARD and CYP26B1, which were associated with CML predisposition. A CML-risk-allele score was created using these five SNPs. This score was accurate for discriminating CML status (AUC: 0.61, 95%CI: 0.58-0.64). Interestingly, the score was associated with age at diagnosis and the average number of risk alleles was significantly higher in younger patients. The risk-allele score showed the same distribution in the general population (HapMap CEU samples) as in our control individuals and was associated with differential gene expression patterns of two genes (VAPA and TDRKH). In conclusion, we describe haplotypes and a genetic score that are significantly associated with a predisposition to develop CML. The SNPs identified will also serve to drive fundamental research on the putative role of these genes in CML development.

Nayak S, Goel MM, Makker A, et al.
Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF-2) and Its Receptors FGFR-2 and FGFR-3 May Be Putative Biomarkers of Malignant Transformation of Potentially Malignant Oral Lesions into Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(10):e0138801 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
There are several factors like angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis, genetic alterations, mutational factors that are involved in malignant transformation of potentially malignant oral lesions (PMOLs) to oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) is one of the prototypes of the large family of growth factors that bind heparin. FGF-2 induces angiogenesis and its receptors may play a role in synthesis of collagen. FGFs are involved in transmission of signals between the epithelium and connective tissue, and influence growth and differentiation of a wide variety of tissue including epithelia. The present study was undertaken to analyze expression of FGF-2 and its receptors FGFR-2 and FGFR-3 in 72 PMOLs, 108 OSCC and 52 healthy controls, and their role in risk assessment for malignant transformation of Leukoplakia (LKP) and Oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF) to OSCC. Immunohistochemistry was performed using antibodies against FGF-2, FGFR-2 and FGFR-3. IHC results were validated by Real Time PCR. Expression of FGF-2, FGFR-2 and FGFR-3 was upregulated from PMOLs to OSCC. While 90% (9/10) of PMOLs which showed malignant transformation (transformed) expressed FGF-2, only 24.19% cases (15/62) of PMOLs which were not transformed (untransformed) to OSCC expressed FGF-2. Similarly, FGFR-2 expression was seen in 16/62 (25.81%) of untransformed PMOLs and 8/10 (80%) cases of transformed PMOLs. FGFR-3 expression was observed in 23/62 (37.10%) cases of untransformed PMOLs and 6/10 (60%) cases of transformed PMOLs. A significant association of FGF-2 and FGFR-2 expression with malignant transformation from PMOLs to OSCC was observed both at phenotypic and molecular level. The results suggest that FGF-2 and FGFR-2 may be useful as biomarkers of malignant transformation in patients with OSMF and LKP.

Wu B, Bi W
Role of microRNA‑503 in the suppression of osteosarcoma cell proliferation and migration via modulation of fibroblast growth factor 2.
Mol Med Rep. 2015; 12(5):7433-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The present study aimed to investigate the expression levels of microRNA (miR)‑503 in osteosarcoma (OS), as well as to assess the effects and underlying mechanisms of miR‑503 on cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration and invasion of OS cells. Reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT‑qPCR) was used to determine the expression levels of miR‑503 in OS and adjacent normal bone tissue samples. Proliferation, apoptosis, migration and invasion assays were performed to determine the effects of miR‑503 on OS cells. The expression levels of miR‑503 were significantly decreased in OS tissue samples, as compared with normal tissue samples (P<0.0001). Upregulation of miR‑503 significantly inhibited proliferation and induced cell apoptosis, as compared with the negative controls. The results of the present study also demonstrated that miR‑503 significantly decreased the migration and invasion ability of the OS cells, which may be mediated by the inhibition of fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2). In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that expression of miR-503 was involved in the inhibition of cellular proliferation, and induced apoptosis of the OS cells. In addition, miR‑503 was able to inhibit the migration and invasion ability of OS cells, likely via the inhibition of FGF2 expression.

Wang L, Song G, Tan W, et al.
MiR-573 inhibits prostate cancer metastasis by regulating epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(34):35978-90 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The metastastic cascade is a complex process that is regulated at multiple levels in prostate cancer (PCa). Recent evidence suggests that microRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in PCa metastasis and hold great promise as therapeutic targets. In this study, we found that miR-573 expression is significantly lower in metastatic tissues than matched primary PCa. Its downregulation is correlated with high Gleason score and cancer-related mortality of PCa patients (P = 0.041, Kaplan-Meier analysis). Through gain- and loss-of function experiments, we demonstrated that miR-573 inhibits PCa cell migration, invasion and TGF-β1-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in vitro and lung metastasis in vivo. Mechanistically, miR573 directly targets the fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) gene. Knockdown of FGFR1 phenocopies the effects of miR-573 expression on PCa cell invasion, whereas overexpression of FGFR1 partially attenuates the functions of miR-573. Consequently, miR-573 modulates the activation of FGFR1-downstream signaling in response to fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2). Importantly, we showed that GATA3 directly increases miR-573 expression, and thus down-regulates FGFR1 expression, EMT and invasion of PCa cells in a miR-573-dependent manner, supporting the involvement of GATA3, miR-573 and FGFR1 in controlling the EMT process during PCa metastasis. Altogether, our findings demonstrate a novel mechanism by which miR-573 modulates EMT and metastasis of PCa cells, and suggest miR-573 as a potential biomarker and/or therapeutic target for PCa management.

Nagel S, Ehrentraut S, Meyer C, et al.
Aberrantly Expressed OTX Homeobox Genes Deregulate B-Cell Differentiation in Hodgkin Lymphoma.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(9):e0138416 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) we recently reported that deregulated homeobox gene MSX1 mediates repression of the B-cell specific transcription factor ZHX2. In this study we investigated regulation of MSX1 in this B-cell malignancy. Accordingly, we analyzed expression and function of OTX homeobox genes which activate MSX1 transcription during embryonal development in the neural plate border region. Our data demonstrate that OTX1 and OTX2 are aberrantly expressed in both HL patients and cell lines. Moreover, both OTX loci are targeted by genomic gains in overexpressing cell lines. Comparative expression profiling and subsequent pathway modulations in HL cell lines indicated that aberrantly enhanced FGF2-signalling activates the expression of OTX2. Downstream analyses of OTX2 demonstrated transcriptional activation of genes encoding transcription factors MSX1, FOXC1 and ZHX1. Interestingly, examination of the physiological expression profile of ZHX1 in normal hematopoietic cells revealed elevated levels in T-cells and reduced expression in B-cells, indicating a discriminatory role in lymphopoiesis. Furthermore, two OTX-negative HL cell lines overexpressed ZHX1 in correlation with genomic amplification of its locus at chromosomal band 8q24, supporting the oncogenic potential of this gene in HL. Taken together, our data demonstrate that deregulated homeobox genes MSX1 and OTX2 respectively impact transcriptional inhibition of (B-cell specific) ZHX2 and activation of (T-cell specific) ZHX1. Thus, we show how reactivation of a specific embryonal gene regulatory network promotes disturbed B-cell differentiation in HL.

Dorman SN, Baranova K, Knoll JH, et al.
Genomic signatures for paclitaxel and gemcitabine resistance in breast cancer derived by machine learning.
Mol Oncol. 2016; 10(1):85-100 [PubMed] Related Publications
Increasingly, the effectiveness of adjuvant chemotherapy agents for breast cancer has been related to changes in the genomic profile of tumors. We investigated correspondence between growth inhibitory concentrations of paclitaxel and gemcitabine (GI50) and gene copy number, mutation, and expression first in breast cancer cell lines and then in patients. Genes encoding direct targets of these drugs, metabolizing enzymes, transporters, and those previously associated with chemoresistance to paclitaxel (n = 31 genes) or gemcitabine (n = 18) were analyzed. A multi-factorial, principal component analysis (MFA) indicated expression was the strongest indicator of sensitivity for paclitaxel, and copy number and expression were informative for gemcitabine. The factors were combined using support vector machines (SVM). Expression of 15 genes (ABCC10, BCL2, BCL2L1, BIRC5, BMF, FGF2, FN1, MAP4, MAPT, NFKB2, SLCO1B3, TLR6, TMEM243, TWIST1, and CSAG2) predicted cell line sensitivity to paclitaxel with 82% accuracy. Copy number profiles of 3 genes (ABCC10, NT5C, TYMS) together with expression of 7 genes (ABCB1, ABCC10, CMPK1, DCTD, NME1, RRM1, RRM2B), predicted gemcitabine response with 85% accuracy. Expression and copy number studies of two independent sets of patients with known responses were then analyzed with these models. These included tumor blocks from 21 patients that were treated with both paclitaxel and gemcitabine, and 319 patients on paclitaxel and anthracycline therapy. A new paclitaxel SVM was derived from an 11-gene subset since data for 4 of the original genes was unavailable. The accuracy of this SVM was similar in cell lines and tumor blocks (70-71%). The gemcitabine SVM exhibited 62% prediction accuracy for the tumor blocks due to the presence of samples with poor nucleic acid integrity. Nevertheless, the paclitaxel SVM predicted sensitivity in 84% of patients with no or minimal residual disease.

Qiu YY, Hu SJ, Bao YJ, et al.
Anti-angiogenic and anti-proliferative effects of inhibition of HIF-1α by p-HIF-1α RNAi in colorectal cancer.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(7):7913-20 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The aim of this study was to construct an RNA-interference plasmid (p-HIF-1α RNAi) targeting the human HIF-1α gene and assess its effects on HIF-1α expression and its anti-tumour functions in vitro. p-HIF-1α RNAi was constructed and confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing. Reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) and western blot were performed to detect HIF-1α expression in HCT116 cells following transfection of p-HIF-1α RNAi and p-control. The anti-tumour effects and mechanism of action of p-HIF-1α RNAi in HCT116 cells were further investigated. p-HIF-1α RNAi significantly inhibited HIF-1α expression in the HCT116 cell line. p-HIF-1α RNAi inhibited cell viability and reduced VEGF but not bFGF expression in the supernatant of HCT116 cells, down-regulated b-catenin and VEGF expression, and altered β-catenin location in the HCT116 cell nucleus. The plasmid p-HIF-1α RNAi can effectively and specifically inhibit HIF-1α expression, inhibit cell proliferation, and alter the expression of key components in the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. Thus, p-HIF-1α RNAi is a novel and extremely promising therapeutic inhibitor of HIF-1α.

Zhang Q, Jiang K, Li Y, et al.
Histidine-rich glycoprotein function in hepatocellular carcinoma depends on its N-glycosylation status, and it regulates cell proliferation by inhibiting Erk1/2 phosphorylation.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(30):30222-31 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third most common cause of cancer mortality. Significantly downregulated histidine-rich glycoprotein (HRG) during the dynamic stages (WB, WB7, and WB11) of neoplastic transformation of WB F344 hepatic oval-like cells was screened out by iTRAQ labeling followed by 2DLC-ESI-MS/MS analysis. HRG expression was significantly lower in HCC tissues. HRG overexpression in Huh7 and MHCC-97H hepatoma cell lines led to decreased cell proliferation, colony-forming ability, and tumor growth, and increased cell apoptosis. HRG could inhibit cell proliferation via the FGF-Erk1/2 signaling pathway by reducing Erk1/2 phosphorylation. On the other hand, the functional expression of HRG was also dependent on the glycosylation status at its N-terminal, especially at the glycosylation site Asn 125. The glycosylation of HRG may play a key competitive role in the interaction between HRG and heparin sulfate for binding bFGF and activating the FGF receptor. These findings provide novel insights into the molecular mechanism of HRG in HCC.

Ghilardi C, Silini A, Figini S, et al.
Trypsinogen 4 boosts tumor endothelial cells migration through proteolysis of tissue factor pathway inhibitor-2.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(29):28389-400 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Proteases contribute to cancer in many ways, including tumor vascularization and metastasis, and their pharmacological inhibition is a potential anticancer strategy. We report that human endothelial cells (EC) express the trypsinogen 4 isoform of the serine protease 3 (PRSS3), and lack both PRSS2 and PRSS1. Trypsinogen 4 expression was upregulated by the combined action of VEGF-A, FGF-2 and EGF, angiogenic factors representative of the tumor microenvironment. Suppression of trypsinogen 4 expression by siRNA inhibited the angiogenic milieu-induced migration of EC from cancer specimens (tumor-EC), but did not affect EC from normal tissues. We identified tissue factor pathway inhibitor-2 (TFPI-2), a matrix associated inhibitor of cell motility, as the functional target of trypsinogen 4, which cleaved TFPI-2 and removed it from the matrix put down by tumor-EC. Silencing tumor-EC for trypsinogen 4 accumulated TFPI2 in the matrix. Showing that angiogenic factors stimulate trypsinogen 4 expression, which hydrolyses TFPI-2 favoring a pro-migratory situation, our study suggests a new pathway linking tumor microenvironment signals to endothelial cell migration, which is essential for angiogenesis and blood vessel remodeling. Abolishing trypsinogen 4 functions might be an exploitable strategy as anticancer, particularly anti-vascular, therapy.

Fessler E, Borovski T, Medema JP
Endothelial cells induce cancer stem cell features in differentiated glioblastoma cells via bFGF.
Mol Cancer. 2015; 14:157 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a rapidly growing malignant brain tumor, which has been reported to be organized in a hierarchical fashion with cancer stem cells (CSCs) at the apex. Recent studies demonstrate that this hierarchy does not follow a one-way route but can be reverted with more differentiated cells giving rise to cells possessing CSC features. We investigated the role of tumor microvascular endothelial cells (tMVECs) in reverting differentiated glioblastoma cells to CSC-like cells.
METHODS: We made use of primary GBM lines and tMVECs. To ensure differentiation, CSC-enriched cultures were forced into differentiation using several stimuli and cultures consisting solely of differentiated cells were obtained by sorting on the oligodendrocyte marker O4. Reversion to the CSC state was assessed phenotypically by CSC marker expression and functionally by evaluating clonogenic and multilineage differentiation potential.
RESULTS: Conditioned medium of tMVECs was able to replenish the CSC pool by phenotypically and functionally reverting differentiated GBM cells to the CSC state. Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), secreted by tMVECs, recapitulated the effects of the conditioned medium in inducing re-expression of CSC markers and increasing neurosphere formation ability of differentiated GBM cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate that the CSC-based hierarchy displays a high level of plasticity showing that differentiated GBM cells can acquire CSC features when placed in the right environment. These results point to the need to intersect the elaborate network of tMVECs and GBM CSCs for efficient elimination of GBM CSCs.

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