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Am J Pathol. 2010 Mar;176(3):1433-42. doi: 10.2353/ajpath.2010.090356. Epub 2010 Jan 21.

Reduced expression of fibroblast growth factor receptor 2IIIb in hepatocellular carcinoma induces a more aggressive growth.

Author information

1
University of Regensburg, Department of Internal Medicine I, D-93042 Regensburg, Germany.

Abstract

Fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 isoform b (FGFR2-IIIb) is highly expressed in hepatocytes and plays an important role in liver homeostasis and regeneration. Here, we analyzed the expression and function of FGFR2-IIIb in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). FGFR2-IIIb expression in HCC tissues and cell lines was lower than in primary human hepatocytes and nontumorous tissue. FGFR2-IIIb-negative HCCs showed a significantly higher Ki-67 labeling index, and loss of FGFR2-IIIb expression correlated significantly with vascular invasion and more advanced tumor stages. A decrease in FGFR-2IIIb expression in HCC cell lines was not related to promoter hypermethylation. However, PCR analysis indicated that chromosomal deletion at 10q accounted for the loss of FGFR2 expression in a subset of HCC cells. FGFR2-IIIb re-expression in stable transfected HCC cell lines induced a higher basal apoptosis rate and a significantly reduced proliferation and migratory potential in vitro. In nude mice, FGFR2-IIIb re-expressing HCC cells grew significantly slower, and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling assay revealed higher apoptosis rates. The antitumorigenic effects of FGFR2-IIIb expression in HCC cells were not affected by keratinocyte growth factor or an inhibitor of FGFR-phosphorylation, indicating that they are independent of tyrosine kinase activation. In conclusion, our data indicate that FGFR2-IIIb inhibits tumorigenicity of HCC cells. Identification of the molecular mechanisms promoting regeneration in normal tissue while suppressing malignancy may lead to novel therapeutic targets of this highly aggressive tumor.

PMID:
20093481
PMCID:
PMC2832162
DOI:
10.2353/ajpath.2010.090356
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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