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Oncogene. 1989 Jan;4(1):19-25.

Introduction of a Ha-ras oncogene into rat liver epithelial cells and parenchymal hepatocytes confers resistance to the growth inhibitory effects of TGF-beta.

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Department of Pathology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710.


Growth of rat liver epithelial cells (RLEC) and primary cultures of parenchymal hepatocytes is potently inhibited by TGF-beta. Transfection of a mutated Ha-ras oncogene, but not a human c-myc oncogene, into RLEC resulted in cell lines resistant to growth inhibition by TGF-beta under anchorage-dependent conditions. Infection of primary rat hepatocyte cultures with v-Ha-ras yielded a cell line likewise insensitive to inhibition by TGF-beta. Binding of [125I]TGF-beta to Ha-ras-transfected RLEC was reduced relative to control or c-myc-transfected cells. These data suggest that activation of a Ha-ras oncogene in epithelial cells may result in escape from negative growth control and hence be a critical step during carcinogenesis. However, although Ha-ras induced resistance to growth inhibition by TGF-beta under anchorage-dependent conditions, TGF-beta inhibited the spontaneous growth in soft agar of all cell lines containing the Ha-ras oncogene. This may reflect an alteration in regulation of extracellular matrix proteins and related enzymes responsible for anchorage-independent growth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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