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Oncogene. 2001 May 17;20(22):2791-804.

FGF-8b increases angiogenic capacity and tumor growth of androgen-regulated S115 breast cancer cells.

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Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Anatomy, University of Turku, 20520 Turku, Finland.


Fibroblast growth factor 8 (FGF-8) is a secreted heparin-binding protein, which has transforming potential. Alternative splicing of the mouse Fgf-8 gene potentially codes for eight protein isoforms (a-h) which differ in their transforming capacity in transfected cells. S115 mouse mammary tumor cells express a transformed phenotype and secrete FGF-8 in an androgen-dependent manner. In order to study the role of FGF-8 isoforms in the induction of transformed phenotype of breast cancer cells, we over-expressed FGF-8 isoforms a, b and e in S115 cells. Over-expression of FGF-8b, but not FGF-8a or FGF-8e, induced androgen and anchorage independent growth of S115 cells. FGF-8b-transfected S115 cells formed rapidly growing tumors with increased vascularization when injected s.c. into nude mice. FGF-8a also slightly increased tumor growth and probably tumor vascularization but FGF-8e was not found to have any effects. The angiogenic activity of FGF-8b and heparin-binding growth factor fraction (HBGF) of S115 cell conditioned media was tested in in vitro and in vivo models for angiogenesis using immortomouse brain capillary endothelial cells (IBEC) and chorion allantoic membrane (CAM) assays. Recombinant FGF-8b protein was able to stimulate proliferation, migration, and vessel-like tube formation of IBECs. In addition, stimulatory effect of S115-HBGF on IBE cell proliferation was evident. A positive angiogenic response to FGF-8b was also seen in CAM assay. The results demonstrate that the expression of Fgf-8b is able to promote vessel formation. Angiogenic capacity probably markedly contributes to the ability of FGF-8b to increase tumor growth of androgen-regulated S115 mouse breast cancer cells.

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