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J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 1992 Sep;43(1-3):229-36.

The role of erbB-2 and its ligands in growth control of malignant breast epithelium.

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Lombardi Cancer Research Center, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20007.


The erbB-2 (HER-2, neu) protooncogene is overexpressed on the surface of about 25% of human breast cancers. It is homologous to epidermal growth factor receptor and a putative growth factor receptor. Overexpression in breast, ovarian and gastric cancers is associated with a worse prognosis. We have recently discovered two ligands for this receptor. They both induce receptor phosphorylation. At low concentrations both induce clonogenic growth of overexpressing cells; at higher concentrations both are growth inhibitory. Both can overcome the inhibitory effects of both monoclonal antibodies directed against the ligand binding site and soluble extracellular domain. These ligands may form an attractive basis for antitumor therapy.

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