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Cancer Cells. 1991 Aug;3(8):308-11.

Basic fibroblast growth factor in human melanoma.

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Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104.


Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) is a major factor contributing to human melanoma cell growth. bFGF is produced constitutively by cells from each stage of the disease, but not by normal melanocytes, although the latter cells are dependent on the factor for growth in vitro. Two lines of evidence suggest that bFGF functions in an autocrine manner in melanoma: (1) inhibition of bFGF activity by bFGF-specific antibodies or antisense sequences suppresses melanoma cell growth in vitro; and (2) retrovirus-mediated transfer of a bFGF cDNA into normal murine melanocytes renders the recipient cell bFGF-independent. Constitutive production of bFGF is not by itself sufficient for the establishment of the transformed phenotype, however, since bFGF-expressing melanocytes are neither immortalized nor tumorigenic in nude mice.

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