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J Biol Chem. 2000 Apr 14;275(15):10802-11.

Induction of the angiogenic modulator fibroblast growth factor-binding protein by epidermal growth factor is mediated through both MEK/ERK and p38 signal transduction pathways.

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  • 1Department of Oncology, Vincent T. Lombardi Cancer Center, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. 20007, USA.


Fibroblast growth factor-binding protein (FGF-BP) is a secreted protein that binds and activates fibroblast growth factors (FGF-1 and FGF-2) and induces angiogenesis in some human cancers. FGF-BP is expressed at high levels in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) cell lines and tumor samples and has been shown to be rate-limiting for the growth of SCC tumors in vivo. In this study, we examine the regulation of FGF-BP by epidermal growth factor (EGF) and the signal transduction mechanisms that mediate this effect. We found that EGF treatment of the ME-180 SCC cell line caused a rapid induction of FGF-BP gene expression. This induction was mediated transcriptionally through the AP-1 (c-Fos/JunD) and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein elements as well as through an E-box repressor site in the proximal regulatory region of the FGF-BP promoter. Pharmacological inhibition of protein kinase C and mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase kinase 1/2 (MEK1/2) completely blocked EGF induction of FGF-BP mRNA, whereas inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase had no effect. Additionally, both EGF- and anisomycin-induced FGF-BP mRNA was abrogated by inhibition of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, demonstrating a role for p38 in the regulation of FGF-BP. Co-transfection of the FGF-BP promoter with dominant negative forms of MEK2, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2, and p38 significantly decreased the level of EGF induction, whereas expression of a dominant negative c-Jun N-terminal kinase mutant or expression of c-Jun N-terminal kinase inhibitory protein had no effect. Similarly, activation of the p38 pathway by overexpression of wild-type p38 or MKK6 enhanced FGF-BP transcription. These results demonstrate that EGF induction of FGF-BP occurs selectively through dual activation of the stress-activated p38 and the MEK/extracellular signal-regulated kinase mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways, which ultimately leads to activation of the promoter through AP-1 and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein sites.

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