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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2002 Oct 9;1588(1):1-6.

Induction and expression of betaig-h3 in pancreatic cancer cells.

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Department of Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.


betaig-h3 (TGFBI, keratoepithelin) was first identified as a transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1)-inducible gene in a human lung adenocarcinoma cell line. It encodes for a secreted extracellular matrix (ECM) protein, which is thought to act on cell attachment and ECM composition. Mutations of the betaig-h3 gene are involved in several corneal dystrophies. Pancreatic cancers display multiple alterations in the TGF-beta signaling pathway and in TGF-beta response genes, such as overexpression of all three TGF-beta isoforms and Smad4 mutations. In this report, we determined that betaig-h3 mRNA levels were induced by TGF-beta1 in two out of five examined pancreatic cancer cell lines (CAPAN-1, PANC-1). In CAPAN-1 cells, which harbor a Smad4 mutation, betaig-h3 but not PAI-1 was induced by TGF-beta1, whereas in PANC-1 cells that express wild-type Smad4, TGF-beta1 induced both PAI-1 and betaig-h3. In human pancreatic tissues, there was a 32.4-fold increase in betaig-h3 mRNA levels in pancreatic cancers in comparison to normal control tissues. In situ hybridization analysis revealed that betaig-h3 mRNA was expressed mainly in the cancer cells within the pancreatic tumor mass. These findings suggest that betaig-h3 is induced by TGF-betas in pancreatic cancer cells even in the presence of Smad4 mutations, which might explain, in part, the increased betaig-h3 mRNA levels observed in pancreatic cancer cells in vivo.

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