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J Biol Chem. 2000 Oct 20;275(42):32879-87.

Sustained down-regulation of the epidermal growth factor receptor by decorin. A mechanism for controlling tumor growth in vivo.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Anatomy and Cell Biology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA.


The small leucine-rich proteoglycan decorin interacts with the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and triggers a signaling cascade that leads to elevation of endogenous p21 and growth suppression. We demonstrate that decorin causes a sustained down-regulation of the EGFR. Upon stable expression of decorin, the EGFR number is reduced by approximately 40%, without changes in EGFR expression. However, EGFR phosphorylation is nearly completely abolished. Concurrently, decorin attenuates the EGFR-mediated mobilization of intracellular calcium and blocks the growth of tumor xenografts by down-regulating the EGFR kinase in vivo. Thus, decorin acts as an autocrine and paracrine regulator of tumor growth and could be utilized as an effective anti-cancer agent.

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