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Ann Surg Oncol. 1997 Dec;4(8):670-84.

Inhibition of transforming growth factor alpha stimulation of human squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck with anti-TGF-alpha antibodies and tyrphostin.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry, University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Transforming growth factor alpha (TGF-alpha) and its receptor (EGF-R) may regulate normal and malignant epithelial cell growth by an autocrine mechanism. We investigated the role of TGF-alpha in regulating head and neck SCC tumor growth.

METHODS:

TGF-alpha and EGF-R levels were measured in 7 SCC cell lines and 14 SCC biopsies by RIA, Scatchard, and Western analysis. TGF-alpha autocrine stimulation of DNA synthesis in SCC cell lines was assessed by incubation with TGF-alpha neutralizing antibodies and tyrphostin AG 1478, a selective and potent inhibitor of EGF-R kinase.

RESULTS:

All SCC cell lines synthesized TGF-alpha and expressed elevated EGF-R levels compared to normal keratinocytes. Twelve of the 14 SCC biopsies contained TGF-alpha protein and 8 had specific EGF-R. Exogenous TGF-alpha or EGF significantly increased DNA synthesis in 4 of 5 SCC cell lines. TGF-alpha neutralizing antibodies or tyrphostin AG 1478 reduced DNA synthesis in the two SCC cell lines (FaDu and SCC9) tested.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results indicate that SCC cell lines and tumors usually synthesize TGF-alpha, have elevated levels of EGF-R, and are mitogenically stimulated by a TGF-alpha autocrine system. Selective inhibition of the TGF-alpha system by EGF-R kinase inhibitors or TGF-alpha neutralizing antibodies may be useful strategies for treating SCC that overexpress TGF-alpha and its receptor.

PMID:
9416416
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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