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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995 Oct 10;92(21):9500-4.

Platelet-derived growth factor induces apoptosis in growth-arrested murine fibroblasts.

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Department of Pathology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.


The platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) is a potent mitogen for murine fibroblasts. PDGF-stimulated cells express a set of immediate-early-response genes but require additional (progression) factors in serum to progress through the cell cycle. Serum-deprived cells are reversibly arrested in G0 phase and fail to fully traverse the G1 phase of the cell cycle when stimulated by PDGF alone. We now report that serum-deprived normal rat kidney fibroblast (NRK) cells stimulated by either PDGF AA or PDGF BB homodimers undergo apoptotic cell death. Furthermore, we show that epidermal growth factor also induces apoptotic cell death in serum-deprived NRK cells, epidermal growth factor enhances the rate of apoptosis in PDGF-treated cells, and a progression factor (insulin) but not endogenously expressed Bc1-2 fully protects NRK cells from PDGF-stimulated apoptosis. The results indicate that PDGF induces apoptosis in growth-arrested NRK cells and that the inability of NRK cells to transit the G1/S checkpoint is the critical determinant in establishing the genetic program(s) to direct the PDGF signal to apoptosis. The results suggest that polypeptide growth factors in vivo may signal cell fate positively or negatively in settings that limit the potential of cells to completely transit the cell cycle.

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