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Mol Cancer Res. 2008 May;6(5):785-94. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-07-0165.

Decorin-induced growth inhibition is overcome through protracted expression and activation of epidermal growth factor receptors in osteosarcoma cells.

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  • 1Department of Histology, Division of Morphology, School of Medicine, University of Crete, 71110 Heraklion, Greece.


Decorin is an established natural oncosuppressive factor whose action is being studied in detail. Recently, decorin gene therapy formulations using adenoviral vectors have been shown in several animal models with very promising results. The present study describes the first exception to the established oncosuppression model using human osteosarcoma cells. MG-63 osteosarcoma cells were found to constitutively produce decorin, and furthermore, to be resistant to decorin-induced growth arrest. On the contrary, decorin seemed to be beneficial to osteosarcoma cells because it was necessary for MG-63 cell migration and acted as a mediator, counteracting the transforming growth factor-beta2-induced cytostatic function. Efforts to determine how MG-63 cells could overcome the decorin-induced cytostatic effect established that decorin in MG-63 cells does not induce p21 expression nor does it cause protracted retraction and inactivation of the epidermal growth factor receptor. Conversely, epidermal growth factor receptor seemed to be overexpressed and continuously phosphorylated. In view of the proposed design of decorin-based anticancer therapeutic strategies, our study provides new data on pathways that cancer cells might employ to overcome the established decorin-induced growth suppression.

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