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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1998 Oct 20;251(2):437-41.

Upregulated expression of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptors by transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) mediates enhanced mitogenic responses to FGFs in cultured human lung fibroblasts.

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Department of Medicine, New England Medical Center/Tupper Research Institute/Tufts University, School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, 02111, USA.


Transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) is a multifunctional cytokine that induces mesenchymal cell proliferation in vivo while inhibiting growth of most cells directly via serine-threonine receptor(s) binding/activation in vitro. In this study, the ability of TGF-beta1 to regulate the receptor expression of classical mitogenic growth factors that bind receptor tyrosine kinases was examined. TGF-beta1 markedly increased the protein expression of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptors FGFR-1 (Flg) and FGFR-2 (Bek) in a time- and dose-dependent manner in human lung fibroblasts. This resulted in a potentiation of the mitogenic response of multiple FGF ligands that bind to these receptors. TGF-beta1 had no effect on epidermal growth factor (EGF) or platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-beta receptor expression and the mitogenic responses mediated by specific ligands for these receptors were not increased. These results demonstrate a novel action of TGF-beta1 to selectively upregulate the expression of FGF receptor family members leading to enhanced mitogenesis by FGFs.

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