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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Oct 15;93(21):11675-80.

Identification of a c-fos-induced gene that is related to the platelet-derived growth factor/vascular endothelial growth factor family.

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Dipartimento di Biologia Molecolare Università di Siena, Italy.

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  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1997 Feb 18;94(4):1603.


Using a mRNA differential screening of fibroblasts differing for the expression of c-fos we isolated a c-fos-induced growth factor (FIGF). The deduced protein sequence predicts that the cDNA codes for a new member of the platelet-derived growth factor/vascular endothelial growth factor (PDGF/VEGF) family. Northern blot analysis shows that FIGF expression is strongly reduced in c-fos-deficient cells. Transfection of exogenous c-fos driven by a constitutive promoter restores the FIGF expression in these cells. In contrast, both PDGF and VEGF expression is unaffected by c-fos. FIGF is a secreted dimeric protein able to stimulate mitogenic activity in fibroblasts. FIGF overexpression induces morphological alterations in fibroblasts. The cells acquire a spindle-shaped morphology, become more refractive, disorganized, and detach from the plate. These results imply that FIGF is a downstream growth and morphogenic effector of c-fos. These results also suggest that the expression of FIGF in response to c-fos activation induces specific differentiation patterns and its aberrant activation contributes to the malignant phenotype of tumors.

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