Gene Summary

Gene:FGF2; fibroblast growth factor 2
Aliases: BFGF, FGFB, FGF-2, HBGF-2
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family. FGF family members bind heparin and possess broad mitogenic and angiogenic activities. This protein has been implicated in diverse biological processes, such as limb and nervous system development, wound healing, and tumor growth. The mRNA for this gene contains multiple polyadenylation sites, and is alternatively translated from non-AUG (CUG) and AUG initiation codons, resulting in five different isoforms with distinct properties. The CUG-initiated isoforms are localized in the nucleus and are responsible for the intracrine effect, whereas, the AUG-initiated form is mostly cytosolic and is responsible for the paracrine and autocrine effects of this FGF. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:fibroblast growth factor 2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (7)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: FGF2 (cancer-related)

Kim SS, Eun JW, Cho HJ, et al.
Effect of Fibroblast Growth Factor-2 and its Receptor Gene Polymorphisms on the Survival of Patients With Hepatitis B Virus-associated Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(4):2217-2226 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Fibroblast growth factor (FGF), vascular endothelial growth factor, and hepatocyte growth factor play a critical role in the pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We assessed nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the FGF1, FGF2, FGF receptor (FGFR)-2, Flt-1, and c-MET genes in 245 HCC patients and 483 chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) carriers without HCC.
RESULTS: Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that patients with the FGF2 rs308447 TT genotype had shorter overall survival than patients with the CC or CT genotype (p=0.016) and that FGF2 rs308379 A allele carriers had shorter overall survival than patients with the TT genotype (p=0.020).
CONCLUSION: Multivariate Cox proportional analysis revealed that the FGF2 rs308379 A allele (hazard ratio(HR)=1.663, p=0.004) and advanced tumor stage (HR=3.430, p<0.001) were independent prognostic factors for overall survival in patients with HCC.

Chen F, Qi S, Zhang X, et al.
miR-23a-3p suppresses cell proliferation in oral squamous cell carcinomas by targeting FGF2 and correlates with a better prognosis: miR-23a-3p inhibits OSCC growth by targeting FGF2.
Pathol Res Pract. 2019; 215(4):660-667 [PubMed] Related Publications
Oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCCs) are one of the most ubiquitous malignancies the world over, and are accompanied by a high mortality. microRNAs (miRNAs) have increasingly garnered attention with regards to the roles they play in initiation and progression of various kinds of cancers, including OSCC. It has been reported, that miR-23a-3p promotes the development of tumors for prostate cancer, gastric cancer and gliomas. The functions of miR-23a-3p in OSCC however, remain unclear. In this study, fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) is revealed as a direct target of miR-23a-3p, based on luciferase assays and immunoblotting. The expression of miR-23a-3p and FGF2 were found to be significantly downregulated and upregulated in OSCC tissues respectively. This indicates a reverse correlation between miR-23a-3p and FGF2 levels. Using in vitro approaches we ascertained that miR-23a-3p might contribute to the inhibition of growth and inhibition through increasing apoptosis in OSCC cells; while an inhibitor of miR-23a-3p could reverse this effect. Examination of a clinical cohort of OSCC patients suggested that reduced expression of miR-23a-3p is correlated with more advanced cancerous stage and poorer differentiation of OSCC cell. Additionally, a survival analysis and the Cox-hazard regression model showed that higher levels of miR-23a-3p can be used reliably for prognosis of OSCC patients. This study indicates that miR-23a-3p might suppress tumor proliferation, invasion and promote apoptosis of OSCC by targeting FGF2. miR-23a-3p has the potential to be used as prognostic indicator, and could be exploited as a therapeutic reagent for OSCC in the future.

Zhou Y, Ren H, Dai B, et al.
Hepatocellular carcinoma-derived exosomal miRNA-21 contributes to tumor progression by converting hepatocyte stellate cells to cancer-associated fibroblasts.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2018; 37(1):324 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains a global challenge due to its high morbidity and mortality rates as well as poor response to treatment. The communication between tumor-derived elements and stroma plays a critical role in facilitating cancer progression of HCC. Exosomes are small extracellular vesicles (EVs) that are released from the cells upon fusion of multivesicular bodies with the plasma membrane. There is emerging evidence indicating that exosomes play a central role in cell-to-cell communication. Much attention has been paid to exosomes since they are found to transport bioactive proteins, messenger RNA (mRNAs) and microRNA (miRNAs) that can be transferred in active form to adjacent cells or to distant organs. However, the mechanisms underlying such cancer progression remain largely unexplored.
METHODS: Exosomes were isolated by differential ultracentrifugation from conditioned medium of HCC cells and identified by electron microscopy and Western blotting analysis. Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) were treated with different concentrations of exosomes, and the activation of HSCs was analyzed by Western blotting analysis, wound healing, migration assay, Edu assay, CCK-8 assay and flow cytometry. Moreover, the different miRNA levels of exosomes were tested by real-time quantitative PCR (RT-PCR). The angiogenic ability of activated HSCs was analyzed by qRT-PCR, CCK-8 assay and tube formation assay. In addition, the abnormal lipid metabolism of activated HSCs was analyzed by Western blotting analysis and Oil Red staining. Finally, the relationship between serum exosomal miRNA-21 and prognosis of HCC patients was evaluated.
RESULTS: We showed that HCC cells exhibited a great capacity to convert normal HSCs to cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs). Moreover, our data revealed that HCC cells secreted exosomal miRNA-21 that directly targeted PTEN, leading to activation of PDK1/AKT signaling in HSCs. Activated CAFs further promoted cancer progression by secreting angiogenic cytokines, including VEGF, MMP2, MMP9, bFGF and TGF-β. Clinical data indicated that high level of serum exosomal miRNA-21 was correlated with greater activation of CAFs and higher vessel density in HCC patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Intercellular crosstalk between tumor cells and HSCs was mediated by tumor-derived exosomes that controlled progression of HCC. Our findings provided potential targets for prevention and treatment of live cancer.

He L, Meng Y, Zhang Z, et al.
Downregulation of basic fibroblast growth factor increases cisplatin sensitivity in A549 non-small cell lung cancer cells.
J Cancer Res Ther. 2018; 14(7):1519-1524 [PubMed] Related Publications
Objectives: The objective of the study is to investigate the role of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) in sensitivity to cisplatin in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) A549 cells and its effect on the stemness characteristics of NSCLC cells, revealing possible mechanisms of cisplatin resistance.
Materials and Methods: After A549 cells were treated with cisplatin, bFGF protein expression was analyzed by Western blot. A549 cells were transfected with bFGF small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), and the knockdown efficiency was confirmed by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and Western blot. After bFGF downregulation, A549 cell proliferation was assessed by Cell Counting Kit-8 assay. The effect of bFGF siRNA on the sensitivity to cisplatin was evaluated by cell viability assays and flow cytometry for cell apoptosis. Colony formation assay was performed to explore whether bFGF affected the stemness characteristics of A549 cells, and OCT-4 protein expression was analyzed by Western blot after bFGF siRNA treatment.
Results: Cisplatin treatment enhanced bFGF expression in A549 cells. After A549 cells were transfected with bFGF siRNAs, bFGF expression was significantly decreased compared to that in the negative control siRNA group. In addition, bFGF knockdown inhibited A549 cell proliferation. bFGF siRNA treatment enhanced the inhibitory effect of different concentrations of cisplatin on cell viability and promoted cisplatin-induced apoptosis in A549 cells. Further analyses showed that bFGF siRNA treatment not only significantly decreased colony formation in A549 cells but also downregulated OCT-4 protein expression.
Conclusion: bFGF decreased NSCLC sensitivity to cisplatin in vitro, while it enhanced colony formation ability and increased OCT-4 expression of A549 cells, which might account for its involved mechanisms of cisplatin resistance.

Yu C, Hong H, Lu J, et al.
Prediction of Target Genes and Pathways Associated With Cetuximab Insensitivity in Colorectal Cancer.
Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2018; 17:1533033818806905 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cetuximab has been regularly added to the treatments for metastatic colorectal cancer worldwide. However, due to its therapeutic insensitivity and underlying mechanisms being largely unknown, the clinical implementation of cetuximab in colorectal cancer remains limited.
METHODS: The gene expression profile GSE56386 was retrieved from the Gene Expression Omnibus database. Differentially expressed genes were identified between cetuximab-responsive patients and nonresponders, annotated by gene ontology, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway analysis, and further analyzed by protein-protein interaction networks. The integrative prognostic analysis was based on The Cancer Genome Atlas and PrognoScan.
RESULTS: 1350 differentially expressed genes were identified with 298 upregulated and 1052 downregulated. Epidermis development, the cornified envelope, calcium ion binding, and amoebiasis were enriched in upregulated genes while digestion, the apical part of the cell, the 3',5'-cyclic-adenosine monophosphate phosphodiesterase activity and pancreatic secretion were found enriched in downregulated genes. The top 10 hub genes were identified, including epithermal growth factor, G-protein subunit β 5, G-protein subunit γ 4, fibroblast growth factor 2, B-cell lymphoma protein 2, acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase β, KIT proto-oncogene receptor tyrosine kinase, adenylate cyclase 4, neuropeptide Y, and neurotensin. The hub genes exhibited distinct correlations in cetuximab-treated and untreated genomic profiles (GSE56386, GSE5851 and GSE82236). The highest correlation was found between B-cell lymphoma protein 2 and acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase β in GSE56386. The mRNA expression of hub genes was further validated in the genomic profile GSE65021. Furthermore, B-cell lymphoma protein 2 and acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase β also exhibited highest degrees among the hub genes correlation networks based on The Cancer Genome Atlas. Both B-cell lymphoma and acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase β were not independent prognostic factors for colorectal cancer in univariate and multivariate Cox analysis. However, integrative survival analysis indicated that B-cell lymphoma protein 2 was associated with favorable prognosis (hazard ratio = 0.62, 95% confidence interval, 0.30-0.95, P = .024).
DISCUSSION: This in silico analysis provided a feasible and reliable strategy for systematic exploration of insightful target genes, pathways and mechanisms underlying the cetuximab insensitivity in colorectal cancer. B-cell lymphoma protein 2 was associated with favorable prognosis.

Zhou X, Yan T, Huang C, et al.
Melanoma cell-secreted exosomal miR-155-5p induce proangiogenic switch of cancer-associated fibroblasts via SOCS1/JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2018; 37(1):242 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) have been widely reported to promote tumor angiogenesis. However, the underlying mechanisms of the proangiogenic switch of CAFs remain poorly understood. This study aims to clarify the mechanisms underlying the proangiogenic switch of CAFs.
METHODS: NIH/3T3 cells were treated with B16 and B16F10-derived exosomes. Then the CAFs markers and proangiogenic factors were detected by RT-PCR and Western blot. CCK-8 assay, transwell migration assay, tube formation assay, and in vivo Matrigel plug assay were conducted to determine the proangiogenic capability of CAFs. Western blot and AG490 were used to investigate the role of Janus kinase 2/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (JAK2/STAT3) signaling pathway in the proangiogenic switch of CAFs. Bioinformatics analysis, luciferase reporter assay, microRNA mimic and inhibitor, and xenograft models were used to investigate the role of mmu-miR-155-5p (miR-155) in the proangiogenic switch of CAFs.
RESULTS: In this study, we show that melanoma cell-secreted exosomes can induce reprogramming of fibroblasts into CAFs and that exosomal miR-155 can trigger the proangiogenic switch of CAFs. Mechanistically exosomal miR-155 can be delivered into fibroblasts and promote the expression of proangiogenic factors, including vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFa), fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), and matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9), by directly targeting suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS1). Downregulation of SOCS1 activates JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway and elevates the expression levels of VEGFa, FGF2, and MMP9 in fibroblasts. Treatment with exosomes containing overexpressed miR-155 can promote angiogenesis, and the reduction of miR-155 in melanoma cell-secreted exosomes alleviates angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo.
CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that by promoting the expression of proangiogenic factors in recipient fibroblasts via SOCS1/JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway, melanoma cell-secreted exosomal miR-155 can induce the proangiogenic switch of CAFs. Although tumor angiogenesis is modulated by various factors, exosomal miR-155 may be a potential target for controlling melanoma angiogenesis and used to set up novel strategies to treat melanoma.

Zhang H, Ye Q, Du Z, et al.
MiR-148b-3p inhibits renal carcinoma cell growth and pro-angiogenic phenotype of endothelial cell potentially by modulating FGF2.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2018; 107:359-367 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been implicated in a large number of biological processes such as tumor angiogenesis. MiR-148b-3p has been identified as a tumor suppressor in multiple cancer types and the function of miR-148b-3p in renal carcinoma remains unidentified. In this study, we found that the expression of miR-148b-3p was decreased in renal carcinoma based on GEO analysis and the gain-of-function experiments revealed that miR-148b-3p promoted renal carcinoma cell apoptosis and suppressed cell proliferation, migration in vitro and tumor growth in vivo. Functionally, the tube formation, invasion and migration capabilities of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were suppressed by conditioned media derived from renal carcinoma 786-O cells that were transfected with miR-148b-3p mimics. Meanwhile, these conditioned media inhibited the proliferation and promoted apoptosis of HUVECs. The key angiogenesis inducer hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and the pro-angiogenic mediators were decreased in 786-O cells that were transfected with miR-148b-3p mimics. Mechanistically, miR-148b-3p could target fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF2) and further impaired the activation of fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2). Taken together, our findings demonstrate that miR-148b-3p attenuates renal carcinoma cell growth, the invasion and tube formation of endothelial cell potentially via regulating FGF2-FGFR2 signaling pathway.

Murphy J, Pfeiffer RM, Lynn BCD, et al.
Pro-inflammatory cytokines and growth factors in human milk: an exploratory analysis of racial differences to inform breast cancer etiology.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2018; 172(1):209-219 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Analysis of cytokines and growth factors in human milk offers a noninvasive approach for studying the microenvironment of the postpartum breast, which may better reflect tissue levels than testing blood samples. Given that Black women have a higher incidence of early-onset breast cancers than White women, we hypothesized that milk of the former contains higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, adipokines, and growth factors.
METHODS: Participants included 130 Black and 162 White women without a history of a breast biopsy who completed a health assessment questionnaire and donated milk for research. Concentrations of 15 analytes in milk were examined using two multiplex and 4 single-analyte electrochemiluminescent sandwich assays to measure pro-inflammatory cytokines, angiogenesis factors, and adipokines. Mixed-effects ordinal logistic regression was used to identify determinants of analyte levels and to compare results by race, with adjustment for confounders. Factor analysis was used to examine covariation among analytes.
RESULTS: Thirteen of 15 analytes were detected in ≥ 25% of the human milk specimens. In multivariable models, elevated BMI was significantly associated with increased concentrations of 5 cytokines: IL-1β, bFGF, FASL, EGF, and leptin (all p-trend < 0.05). Black women had significantly higher levels of leptin and IL-1β, controlling for BMI. Factor analysis of analyte levels identified two factors related to inflammation and growth factor pathways.
CONCLUSION: This exploratory study demonstrated the feasibility of measuring pro-inflammatory cytokines, adipokines, and angiogenesis factors in human milk, and revealed higher levels of some pro-inflammatory factors, as well as increased leptin levels, among Black as compared with White women.

Mariz BALA, Soares CD, Morais TML, et al.
Expression of FGF-2/FGFR-1 in normal mucosa, salivary gland, preneoplastic, and neoplastic lesions of the oral cavity.
J Oral Pathol Med. 2018; 47(9):816-822 [PubMed] Related Publications
Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) is a multifunctional cytokine expressed in several tissues and involved in a wide variety of biologic activities, with one low molecular weight (LMW) protein present in the cytosol, which is secreted, acting via its receptors (FGFRs), and four high molecular weight (HMW) proteins located in the nucleus. Fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) family has four (FGFR1-4) transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptors expressed on several cell types, and FGFR-1 has been indicated as a potential molecular target in several types of cancer, including oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). The FGF-2/FGFR-1 expression has been studied in the oral cavity, and it was associated with the wound repair process, the development of benign and malignant salivary gland tumors, besides being related to oral potentially malignant disorders (OPMDs) and OSCC. Hence, we critically review the currently available data on FGF-2/FGFR-1 expression in the normal mucosa and lesions of the oral cavity.

Liu QG, Li YJ, Yao L
Knockdown of AGR2 induces cell apoptosis and reduces chemotherapy resistance of pancreatic cancer cells with the involvement of ERK/AKT axis.
Pancreatology. 2018; 18(6):678-688 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Pancreatic cancer (PC), an aggressive human malignancy, presents with a striking resistance to chemotherapy. Interesting, AGR2 has been found to be upregulated in various cancers and has been found to promote the dissemination of PC cells. Thereby, a series of in-vitro experiments were performed to investigate the relationship between AGR2 and the ERK/AKT axis, and to explore whether it affects PC cells.
METHODS: Positive expression of AGR2 protein in the PC and paracancerous tissues collected from 138 patients with PC was detected using immunohistochemistry. After treatment with FGF2 (an ERK/AKT axis agonist), siRNA against AGR2 or their combination respectively, cell viability, chemotherapy resistance, radiotherapy resistance, migration, invasion and apoptosis in PC cells were detected using CCK8 assay, MTT assay, clone formation assay, wound healing assay, Transwell assay and flow cytometry, respectively. The expressions of AGR2 and ERK/AKT axis-related genes and proteins in tissues and cells were detected using reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction and Western blot assay.
RESULTS: PC tissues exhibited highly-expressed AGR2 and abnormally activated ERK/AKT axis. FGF2 promoted the expression of AGR2, ERK/AKT axis activation, cell viability, chemotherapy resistance, migration and invasion, but decreased cell apoptosis in PC cells. However, knockdown of AGR2 resulted in inhibition of the ERK/AKT axis, reduced PC cell viability, chemotherapy resistance, migration and invasion but increased cell apoptosis in PC cells.
CONCLUSION: The findings reveal that AGR2 silencing could promote cell apoptosis and inhibit cell migration, invasion and chemotherapy resistance of PC cell with the involvement of the ERK/AKT axis.

Xue Z, Warren RL, Gibb EA, et al.
Recurrent tumor-specific regulation of alternative polyadenylation of cancer-related genes.
BMC Genomics. 2018; 19(1):536 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Alternative polyadenylation (APA) results in messenger RNA molecules with different 3' untranslated regions (3' UTRs), affecting the molecules' stability, localization, and translation. APA is pervasive and implicated in cancer. Earlier reports on APA focused on 3' UTR length modifications and commonly characterized APA events as 3' UTR shortening or lengthening. However, such characterization oversimplifies the processing of 3' ends of transcripts and fails to adequately describe the various scenarios we observe.
RESULTS: We built a cloud-based targeted de novo transcript assembly and analysis pipeline that incorporates our previously developed cleavage site prediction tool, KLEAT. We applied this pipeline to elucidate the APA profiles of 114 genes in 9939 tumor and 729 tissue normal samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). The full set of 10,668 RNA-Seq samples from 33 cancer types has not been utilized by previous APA studies. By comparing the frequencies of predicted cleavage sites between normal and tumor sample groups, we identified 77 events (i.e. gene-cancer type pairs) of tumor-specific APA regulation in 13 cancer types; for 15 genes, such regulation is recurrent across multiple cancers. Our results also support a previous report showing the 3' UTR shortening of FGF2 in multiple cancers. However, over half of the events we identified display complex changes to 3' UTR length that resist simple classification like shortening or lengthening.
CONCLUSIONS: Recurrent tumor-specific regulation of APA is widespread in cancer. However, the regulation pattern that we observed in TCGA RNA-seq data cannot be described as straightforward 3' UTR shortening or lengthening. Continued investigation into this complex, nuanced regulatory landscape will provide further insight into its role in tumor formation and development.

Bugyik E, Szabó V, Dezső K, et al.
Role of (myo)fibroblasts in the development of vascular and connective tissue structure of the C38 colorectal cancer in mice.
Cancer Commun (Lond). 2018; 38(1):46 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: It remains unclear if the vascular and connective tissue structures of primary and metastatic tumors are intrinsically determined or whether these characteristics are defined by the host tissue. Therefore we examined the microanatomical steps of vasculature and connective tissue development of C38 colon carcinoma in different tissues.
METHODS: Tumors produced in mice at five different locations (the cecal wall, skin, liver, lung, and brain) were analyzed using fluorescent immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction.
RESULTS: We found that in the cecal wall, skin, liver, and lung, resident fibroblasts differentiate into collagenous matrix-producing myofibroblasts at the tumor periphery. These activated fibroblasts together with the produced matrix were incorporated by the tumor. The connective tissue development culminated in the appearance of intratumoral tissue columns (centrally located single microvessels embedded in connective tissue and smooth muscle actin-expressing myofibroblasts surrounded by basement membrane). Conversely, in the brain (which lacks fibroblasts), C38 metastases only induced the development of vascularized desmoplastic tissue columns when the growing tumor reached the fibroblast-containing meninges.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that the desmoplastic host tissue response is induced by tumor-derived fibrogenic molecules acting on host tissue fibroblasts. We concluded that not only the host tissue characteristics but also the tumor-derived fibrogenic signals determine the vascular and connective tissue structure of tumors.

Sahores A, Figueroa V, May M, et al.
Increased High Molecular Weight FGF2 in Endocrine-Resistant Breast Cancer.
Horm Cancer. 2018; 9(5):338-348 [PubMed] Related Publications
Endocrine resistance may develop as a consequence of enhanced growth factor signaling. Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) consists of a low and several high molecular weight forms (HMW-FGF2). We previously demonstrated that antiprogestin-resistant mammary carcinomas display lower levels of progesterone receptor A isoforms (PRA) than B isoforms (PRB). Our aim was to evaluate the role of FGF2 isoforms in breast cancer progression. We evaluated FGF2 expression, cell proliferation, and pathway activation in models with different PRA/PRB ratios. We performed lentiviral infections of different FGF2 isoforms using the human hormone-responsive T47D-YA cells, engineered to only express PRA, and evaluated tumor growth, metastatic dissemination, and endocrine responsiveness. We assessed FGF2 expression and localization in 81 human breast cancer samples. Antiprogestin-resistant experimental mammary carcinomas with low PRA/PRB ratios and T47D-YB cells, which only express PRB, displayed higher levels of HMW-FGF2 than responsive variants. HMW-FGF2 overexpression in T47D-YA cells induced increased tumor growth, lung metastasis, and antiprogestin resistance compared to control tumors. In human breast carcinomas categorized by their PRA/PRB ratio, we found nuclear FGF2 expression in 55.6% of tumor cells. No differences were found between nuclear FGF2 expression and Ki67 proliferation index, tumor stage, or tumor grade. In low-grade tumor samples, moderate to high nuclear FGF2 levels were associated to carcinomas with low PRA/PRB ratio. In conclusion, we show that HMW-FGF2 isoforms are PRB targets which confer endocrine resistance and are localized in the nuclei of breast cancer samples. Hence, targeting intracellular FGF2 may contribute to overcome tumor progression.

Pecqueux C, Arslan A, Heller M, et al.
FGF-2 is a driving force for chromosomal instability and a stromal factor associated with adverse clinico-pathological features in prostate cancer.
Urol Oncol. 2018; 36(8):365.e15-365.e26 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: There is mounting evidence to suggest that stromal cells play an integral role in the progression of prostate cancer (PCa). One of the most frequently altered growth factors in PCa is fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2). It has previously been proposed that early stages of PCa are characterized by a primarily exogenous, that is, stromal cell-derived FGF-2 production, whereas advanced tumors rely more on an autocrine FGF-2 production. Prostate cancer progression is characterized by an increase of genomic instability including aneuploidy and structural chromosomal alterations. Herein, we address 2 problems that have not been comprehensively answered. First, we ask whether exogenous FGF-2 can directly drive genomic instability to promote PCa progression. Second, we investigate whether and to what extent stromal FGF-2 expression is maintained in advanced PCa and whether this influences tumor progression and patient prognosis.
METHODS: In vitro experiments to investigate the role of FGF-2 in numerical and structural chromosomal instability were performed using immunofluorescence microscopy, fluorescence in situ hybridization and single cell electrophoresis. A human patient-derived xenograft mouse model recapitulating osteoblastic PCa bone metastasis was used for in vivo validation experiments. The prognostic role of stromal FGF-2 expression was analyzed using immunohistochemical staining of a tissue microarray with primary tumor specimens from 162 predominantly high-risk patients with PCa.
RESULTS: Our results show that FGF-2 not only rapidly induces mitotic defects and numerical chromosomal imbalances but also an enhanced DNA breakage to promote chromosomal instability. Using the patient-derived xenograft model, we show that a deregulation of the FGF axis results in an increase of mitotic aberrations as well as DNA damage checkpoint activation in vivo. The FGFR inhibitor dovitinib was found to reduce numerical chromosomal instability as well as DNA breakage, thus underscoring the relevance of the FGF axis in promoting genomic instability. An overexpression of tumor cell-associated FGF-2 was detected in 52 of 162 patients (32.1%), whereas a stromal overexpression was found in 27 of 165 patients (16%). Remarkably, a strong stromal FGF-2 expression was associated with a significantly higher clinical stage and higher biochemical recurrence rate. Patients with strong stromal FGF-2 expression also had a significantly worse biochemical recurrence-free survival.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results underscore that exogenous FGF-2 can shape PCa cell genomes and that stromal FGF-2 expression is detectable in a sizeable proportion of advanced PCa where it is associated with adverse clinico-pathological features. Our results highlight the impact of the tumor stroma on malignant progression and provide a rationale for a further exploration of components of the tumor stroma as therapeutic targets in PCa.

Wang K, Ji W, Yu Y, et al.
FGFR1-ERK1/2-SOX2 axis promotes cell proliferation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and metastasis in FGFR1-amplified lung cancer.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(39):5340-5354 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is an important process for cancer metastasis, drug resistance, and cancer stem cells. Activation of fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) was found to promote EMT and metastasis in prostate and breast cancers, but the effects and mechanisms in lung cancer was unclear. In this study, we aimed to explore whether and how activation of FGFR1 promotes EMT and metastasis in FGFR1-amplified lung cancer. We show that activation of FGFR1 by its ligand fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) promoted proliferation, EMT, migration, and invasion in FGFR1-amplified lung cancer cell lines H1581 and DMS114, whereas inhibition of FGFR1 suppressed these processes. FGFR1 activation upregulated expression of Sry-related HMG box 2 (SOX2) by downstream phosphorylated ERK1/2; moreover, the upregulation of SOX2 by autophosphorylation variant ERK2_R67S plasmid transfection was not suppressed by FGFR1 inhibitor AZD4547 or MEK/ERK inhibitor AZD6244 in vitro. And SOX2 expression was also significantly upregulated in ERK2_R67S lentivirus-transfected stable cell lines in vivo. Overexpression of SOX2 promoted cell proliferation, EMT, migration, and invasion. Importantly, activation of FGFR1 could not promote these processes in SOX2-silenced stable cell lines. In orthotopic and subcutaneous lung cancer xenograft models, inhibition of FGFR1 suppressed tumor growth, SOX2 expression, EMT, and metastasis in vivo; however, these processes caused by SOX2-overexpressing stable cell lines were not suppressed by FGFR1 inhibition. Higher expression of FGFR1 and SOX2 were positively correlated, and both were associated with shorter survival in lung cancer patients. In conclusion, our findings reveal that activation of FGFR1 promotes cell proliferation, EMT, and metastasis by the newly defined FGFR1-ERK1/2-SOX2 axis in FGFR1-amplified lung cancer.

Dai D, Huang W, Lu Q, et al.
miR‑24 regulates angiogenesis in gliomas.
Mol Med Rep. 2018; 18(1):358-368 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gliomas are one of the most common and most aggressive types of central nervous system tumor. Angiogenesis is an important basis for the growth of solid tumors, including gliomas, which is regulated by microRNAs (miRNAs). However, the mechanism remains unclear. Recently, it was demonstrated that miR‑24 was upregulated in gliomas, so the aim of the present study is to establish whether the dysregulation of miR‑24 in glioma cells promotes microvascular proliferation of endothelial cells (ECs), and to investigate the potential mechanism. miR‑24 was overexpressed or downregulated in U251 glioma cell line cells using miR‑24 mimics or inhibitors, respectively. Subsequently, the effects of conditional medium from miR‑24 mimic‑ or inhibitor‑transfected U251 cells on cell viability, migration and angiogenesis of human umbilical vein ECs (HUVECs) were examined. The expression levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mRNA, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) mRNA, epidermal growth factor (EGF) mRNA, transforming growth factor (TGF)‑β mRNA, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)‑2 mRNA and MMP‑9 mRNA, and the mRNA and protein levels of VEGF and TGF‑β in miR‑24 mimic‑ or inhibitor‑transfected U251 cells were obtained by reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis, respectively. The effects of conditional medium from miR‑24 mimic‑ or inhibitor‑transfected U251 cells on expression levels of VEGF mRNA, TGF‑β mRNA, MMP‑2 mRNA and MMP‑9 mRNA, and mRNA and protein expression levels of VEGF and TGF‑β, and intracellular AKT and β‑catenin signaling in HUVECs were also examined. The results indicated that the conditional medium from miR‑24 mimic‑transfected U251 cells exhibited significantly increased cell viability, cell migration and tube formation of HUVECs. By contrast, the conditional medium from miR‑24 inhibitor‑transfected U251 cells exhibited significantly decreased cell viability, cell migration and tube formation of HUVECs. Enforced expression of miR‑24 in U251 cells may promote the cell viability and angiogenesis of HUVECs. The mRNA expression levels of VEGF, bFGF, EGF, TGF‑β, MMP‑2 and MMP‑9 in U251 cells were significantly increased by miR‑24 mimics. Western blot detection confirmed the increased levels of VEGF and TGF‑β protein expression in U251 by miR‑24 mimics, and the decrease of VEGF and TGF‑β protein expression levels in U251 by miR‑24 inhibitors. The conditional medium from miR‑24 mimic‑transfected U251 cells increased the expression levels of the angiogenesis‑associated factors, including VEGF, TGF‑β, MMP‑2, and MMP‑9. By contrast, reduced expression of miR‑24 in U251 cells may downregulate the expression of those angiogenesis‑associated factors. Thus, miR‑24 in U251 cells may be important in the angiogenesis of HUVECs via VEGF and TGF‑β, and the intracellular signaling of AKT and β‑catenin may be involved in this process.

Huang RL, Chen HJ, Chen LY, et al.
Epigenetic loss of heparan sulfate 3-O-sulfation sensitizes ovarian carcinoma to oncogenic signals and predicts prognosis.
Int J Cancer. 2018; 143(8):1943-1953 [PubMed] Related Publications
Precision medicine requires markers for therapeutic guidance. The purpose of this study was to determine whether epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) epigenetics can lead to the identification of biomarkers for precision medicine. Through integrative methylomics, we discovered and validated the epigenetic signature of NEFH and HS3ST2 as an independent prognostic factor for type II EOC in our dataset (n = 84), and two independent methylomics datasets (total n = 467). Integrated transcriptomics dataset (n = 1147) and tissue microarrays (n = 54) of HS3ST2 also related to high-methylation statuses and the EOC prognosis. Mechanistic explorations of HS3ST2 have assessed responses to oncogenic stimulations such as IL-6, EGF, and FGF2 in cancer cells. The combination of HS3ST2 and various oncogenic ligands also confers the worse outcome. 3-O-sulfation of heparan sulfate by HS3ST2 makes ovarian cancer cells intrinsically sensitive to oncogenic signals, which sheds new light on the application of HS3ST2 as a companion diagnostic for targeted therapy using kinase inhibitors or therapeutic antibodies.

Wang P, Xu LJ, Qin JJ, et al.
MicroRNA-155 inversely correlates with esophageal cancer progression through regulating tumor-associated macrophage FGF2 expression.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018; 503(2):452-458 [PubMed] Related Publications
Esophageal cancer (EC) is one of the most common malignancies with high incidence and mortality. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) in the tumor microenvironment have been linked to the accelerated tumor progression. MicroRNAs (miR) are 19-25 nucleotide-long, noncoding RNA molecules, functioning as modulators of gene expression, and mediate a variety of biological functions, including tumor growth. In the present study, the effects and molecular mechanism of miR-155 in TAMs isolated from EC were explored. The expression of miR-155 and fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF2) in EC tissues and cell lines were analyzed using reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR) and western blot assays. TAMs were also transfected with the described constructs. Following, the culture medium from TAMs was collected for further analysis. The released FGF2, and inflammatory cytokines were quantified using ELISA. The cell viability, migrated and invaded levels were calculated through Cell Counting kit-8 (CCK8), and transwell analysis. Moreover, human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) vasculature formation was determined using matrigel angiogenesis analysis. The results indicated that miR-155 expression was decreased in EC tissues and cell lines, while FGF2 expression was increased in comparison to those in the normal control group. Moreover, miR-155 mimics transfection up-regulated tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-12 and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), while down-regulated IL-10, Arginase-1 (Arg-1) and IL-22 levels in the culture medium from TAMs. And enhancing miR-155 expression in TAMs suppressed the cell viability, migration and invasion of ECA109 cells and reduced the angiogenesis. Nevertheless, over-expressing FGF2 abolished the role of miR-155 in cancer cell survival, migration, invasion as well as angiogenesis. Our findings indicated that miR-155-regulated FGF2 expression from TAMs suppressed EC cell proliferation, migration, invasion and inhibited vasculature formation. Thus, miR-155-modulated FGF2 might be a potential therapeutic target to prevent EC progression.

Hegab AE, Ozaki M, Kagawa S, et al.
Tumor associated macrophages support the growth of FGF9-induced lung adenocarcinoma by multiple mechanisms.
Lung Cancer. 2018; 119:25-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are known to promote tumorigenesis but the mechanism(s) remain elusive. We have developed a mouse model of lung cancer that is initiated through an inducible overexpression of fibroblast growth factor 9 (FGF9) in type-2 pneumocytes. Expression of FGF9 in adult lungs resulted in a rapid development of multiple adenocarcinoma-like tumor nodules, and is associated with an intense immunological reaction. The purpose of this study is to characterize the immune response to the FGF9-induced lung adenocarcinoma and to determine the contribution of TAMs to growth and survival of these tumors.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We used flow cytometry, immunostaining, RT-PCR and in vitro culture system on various cell populations isolated from the FGF9-induced adenocarcinoma mouse lungs.
RESULTS: Immunostaining demonstrated that the majority of the inflammatory cells recruited to FGF9-induced lung tumors were macrophages. These TAMs were enriched for the alternatively activated (M2) macrophage subtype. TAMs performed a significantly high immune suppressive function on T-cells and displayed high levels of arginase-1 expression and activity. The growth and colony forming potential of tumor cells was induced by co-culture with TAMs. Additionally, TAMs were shown to promote fibroblast proliferation and angiogenesis. TAMs had high expression of Tgf-β, Vegf, Fgf2, Fgf10, Fgfr2 and several matrix metalloproteinases; factors that play multiple roles in supporting tumor growth, immune protection, fibroblast activation and angiogenesis.
CONCLUSION: Our results provide evidence that the Fgf9-induced lung adenocarcinoma is associated with recruitment and activation of M2-biased TAMs, which provided multiple means of support to the tumor. This model represents an excellent means to further study the complex interactions between TAMs, their related chemokines, and progression of lung adenocarcinoma, and adds further evidence to support the importance of TAMs in tumorigenesis.

Zomorrod MS, Kouhkan F, Soleimani M, et al.
Overexpression of miR-133 decrease primary endothelial cells proliferation and migration via FGFR1 targeting.
Exp Cell Res. 2018; 369(1):11-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
Angiogenesis is one of the essential hallmarks of cancer that is controlled by the balance between positive and negative regulators. FGFR1 signaling is crucial for the execution of bFGF-induced proliferation, migration, and tube formation of endothelial cells (ECs) and onset of angiogenesis on tumors. The purpose of this study is to identify whether or not miR-133 regulates FGFR1 expression and accordingly hypothesize if it plays a crucial role in modulating bFGF/FGFR1 activity in ECs and blocking tumor angiogenesis through targeting FGFR1. The influences of miR-133 overexpression on bFGF stimulated endothelial cells were assessed by cell growth curve, MTT assaying, tube formation, and migration assays. Forced expression of miR-133 caused significant reductions in bFGF-induced proliferation and migratory ability of ECs. MiR-133 Expression was negatively correlated with both mRNA and protein levels of FGFR1 in the transfected ECs isolated from peripheral blood. Moreover, overexpression of miR-133 drastically reduced the rate of cell division and disturbed capillary network formation of transfected ECs. These findings suggest that miR-133 plays an important function in bFGF-induced angiogenesis processes in ECs and provides a rationale for new therapeutic approaches to suppress tumor angiogenesis and cancer.

Huang SH, Lo YS, Luo YC, et al.
A homologous mapping method for three-dimensional reconstruction of protein networks reveals disease-associated mutations.
BMC Syst Biol. 2018; 12(Suppl 2):13 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: One of the crucial steps toward understanding the associations among molecular interactions, pathways, and diseases in a cell is to investigate detailed atomic protein-protein interactions (PPIs) in the structural interactome. Despite the availability of large-scale methods for analyzing PPI networks, these methods often focused on PPI networks using genome-scale data and/or known experimental PPIs. However, these methods are unable to provide structurally resolved interaction residues and their conservations in PPI networks.
RESULTS: Here, we reconstructed a human three-dimensional (3D) structural PPI network (hDiSNet) with the detailed atomic binding models and disease-associated mutations by enhancing our PPI families and 3D-domain interologs from 60,618 structural complexes and complete genome database with 6,352,363 protein sequences across 2274 species. hDiSNet is a scale-free network (γ = 2.05), which consists of 5177 proteins and 19,239 PPIs with 5843 mutations. These 19,239 structurally resolved PPIs not only expanded the number of PPIs compared to present structural PPI network, but also achieved higher agreement with gene ontology similarities and higher co-expression correlation than the ones of 181,868 experimental PPIs recorded in public databases. Among 5843 mutations, 1653 and 790 mutations involved in interacting domains and contacting residues, respectively, are highly related to diseases. Our hDiSNet can provide detailed atomic interactions of human disease and their associated proteins with mutations. Our results show that the disease-related mutations are often located at the contacting residues forming the hydrogen bonds or conserved in the PPI family. In addition, hDiSNet provides the insights of the FGFR (EGFR)-MAPK pathway for interpreting the mechanisms of breast cancer and ErbB signaling pathway in brain cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that hDiSNet can explore structural-based interactions insights for understanding the mechanisms of disease-associated proteins and their mutations. We believe that our method is useful to reconstruct structurally resolved PPI networks for interpreting structural genomics and disease associations.

Keklikoglou I, Kadioglu E, Bissinger S, et al.
Periostin Limits Tumor Response to VEGFA Inhibition.
Cell Rep. 2018; 22(10):2530-2540 [PubMed] Related Publications
Resistance to antiangiogenic drugs limits their applicability in cancer therapy. Here, we show that revascularization and progression of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) under extended vascular-endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) blockade are dependent on periostin (POSTN), a matricellular protein expressed by stromal cells. Genetic deletion of Postn in RIP1-Tag2 mice blunted tumor rebounds of M2-like macrophages and αSMA

Longo V, Tamma R, Brunetti O, et al.
Mast cells and angiogenesis in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
Clin Exp Med. 2018; 18(3):319-323 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mast cells are recognized as critical components of the tumor stromal microenvironment in several solid and hematological malignancies, promoting angiogenesis and tumor growth. A correlation between mast cells infiltration, angiogenesis and tumor progression has been reported for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma as well. Mast cells contribute to the aggressiveness of the pancreatic ductal carcinoma enhancing the expression of several pro-angiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor, fibroblast growth factor-2, platelet-derived growth factor and angiopoietin-1 as well as stimulating the pancreatic cancer cells proliferation by IL-13 and tryptase. The disruption of this pro-angiogenic and proliferative stimulation by inhibiting the mast cells migration and degranulation is under investigation as a potential therapeutic approach in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma patients. This review will summarize the literature concerning the mast cells infiltration in the pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma analyzing its role in angiogenesis and tumor progression.

Chen KS, Fustino NJ, Shukla AA, et al.
EGF Receptor and mTORC1 Are Novel Therapeutic Targets in Nonseminomatous Germ Cell Tumors.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2018; 17(5):1079-1089 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
Germ cell tumors (GCT) are malignant tumors that arise from pluripotent embryonic germ cells and occur in children and young adults. GCTs are treated with cisplatin-based regimens which, while overall effective, fail to cure all patients and cause significant adverse late effects. The seminoma and nonseminoma forms of GCT exhibit distinct differentiation states, clinical behavior, and response to treatment; however, the molecular mechanisms of GCT differentiation are not fully understood. We tested whether the activity of the mTORC1 and MAPK pathways were differentially active in the two classes of GCT. Here we show that nonseminomatous germ cell tumors (NSGCT, including embryonal carcinoma, yolk sac tumor, and choriocarcinoma) from both children and adults display activation of the mTORC1 pathway, while seminomas do not. In seminomas, high levels of REDD1 may negatively regulate mTORC1 activity. In NSGCTs, on the other hand, EGF and FGF2 ligands can stimulate mTORC1 and MAPK signaling, and members of the EGF and FGF receptor families are more highly expressed. Finally, proliferation of NSGCT cells

Lu T, Li Z, Yang Y, et al.
The Hippo/YAP1 pathway interacts with FGFR1 signaling to maintain stemness in lung cancer.
Cancer Lett. 2018; 423:36-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Hippo pathway plays a critical role in organ size control, tissue homeostasis and tumor genesis through its key transcription regulator Yes-associated protein1 (YAP1), but the mechanism underlying its role in lung cancer is unclear. We hypothesized that YAP1 influences FGFR1 signaling to maintain cancer stem-like cell (CSC) properties in FGFR1-amplified lung cancer. In support of this, our data confirms that expression levels of YAP1 are positively associated with those of FGFR1 in clinical lung carcinoma samples as measured by real-time PCR, western blot, and immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining. Mechanistically, YAP1 up-regulates FGFR1 expression at the level of promoter through the TEAD binding site while bFGF/FGFR1 induces YAP1 expression via large tumor suppressors 1(LATS1). In addition, the absence of YAP1 abolishes self-renewal ability in lung cancer. Furthermore, an orthotropic mouse model highlights the function of YAP1 in the initiation and metastasis of lung cancer. Verteporfin, a YAP1 inhibitor, effectively inhibits both YAP1 and FGFR1 expression in lung cancer. Thus, we conclude that YAP1 is a potential therapeutic target for lung cancer. Combined targeting of YAP1 and FGFR1 may provide benefits to patients with FGFR1-amplified lung cancer.

Zhang Y, Lu H, Ji H, et al.
Association between rs11200014, rs2981579, and rs1219648 polymorphism and breast cancer susceptibility: A meta-analysis.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2017; 96(50):e9246 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Research on the polymorphism of breast cancer (BC) helps to search the BC susceptibility gene for mass screening, early diagnosis, and gene therapy, which has become a hotspot in BC research field. Previous studies have suggested associations between rs11200014, rs2981579, and rs1219648 polymorphisms and cancer risk. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between rs11200014, rs2981579, and rs1219648 polymorphism and BC risk.
METHODS: PubMed, Web of science, and the Cochrane Library databases were searched before October 11, 2015, to identify relevant studies. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to estimate the strength of associations. Sensitivity and subgroup analyses were conducted. All included cases should have been diagnosed by a pathological examination.
RESULTS: Twenty-six studies published from 2007 to 2015 were included in this meta-analysis. The pooled results showed that there was a significant association between all the 3 variants and BC risk in any genetic model. When stratified by Source of controls, the results showed the same association between rs2981579 polymorphism and BC susceptibility in hospital-based (HB) group, although there was not any genetic model attained statistical correlation in population-based (PB) group. Subgroup analysis was performed on rs1219648 by ethnicity and Source of controls, and the effects remained in Asians, Caucasians, HB, and PB groups.
CONCLUSION: This meta-analysis of case-control studies provides strong evidence that fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGFR2; rs11200014, rs2981579, and rs1219648) polymorphisms are significantly associated with the BC risk. For rs2981579, the association remained in hospital populations, while not in general populations. For rs1219648, the association remained in Asians, Caucasians, hospital populations, and general populations. However, further large-scale multicenter epidemiological studies are warranted to confirm this finding and the molecular mechanism for the associations need to be elucidated in future studies.

Meng X, Vander Ark A, Daft P, et al.
Loss of TGF-β signaling in osteoblasts increases basic-FGF and promotes prostate cancer bone metastasis.
Cancer Lett. 2018; 418:109-118 [PubMed] Related Publications
TGF-β plays a central role in prostate cancer (PCa) bone metastasis, and it is crucial to understand the bone cell-specific role of TGF-β signaling in this process. Thus, we used knockout (KO) mouse models having deletion of the Tgfbr2 gene specifically in osteoblasts (Tgfbr2

Goto H, Nishioka Y
Fibrocytes: A Novel Stromal Cells to Regulate Resistance to Anti-Angiogenic Therapy and Cancer Progression.
Int J Mol Sci. 2017; 19(1) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
An adequate blood supply is essential for cancer cells to survive and grow; thus, the concept of inhibiting tumor angiogenesis has been applied to cancer therapy, and several drugs are already in clinical use. It has been shown that treatment with those anti-angiogenic drugs improved the response rate and prolonged the survival of patients with various types of cancer; however, it is also true that the effect was mostly limited. Currently, the disappointing clinical results are explained by the existence of intrinsic or acquired resistance to the therapy mediated by both tumor cells and stromal cells. This article reviews the mechanisms of resistance mediated by stromal cells such as endothelial cells, pericytes, fibroblasts and myeloid cells, with an emphasis on fibrocytes, which were recently identified as the cell type responsible for regulating acquired resistance to anti-angiogenic therapy. In addition, the other emerging role of fibrocytes as mediator-producing cells in tumor progression is discussed.

Hu P, Chen H, McGowan EM, et al.
Assessment of FGFR1 Over-Expression and Over-Activity in Lung Cancer Cells: A Toolkit for Anti-FGFR1 Drug Screening.
Hum Gene Ther Methods. 2018; 29(1):30-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lung cancer, caused mainly by smoking, is one of the most prevalent diseases in China, resulting in high mortality rates. The increasing incidence of chronic disease due to lung cancer places a huge burden on the welfare and cost to the Chinese society. Amplification of the fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) is associated with high incidence and mortality in lung cancer patients. FGFR1 signaling is implicated in oncogenic traits such as proliferation, cell survival, angiogenesis, and migration. Targeting FGFR1 and its ligand basic FGF (bFGF) is a key step forward in developing new therapies for this crippling disease. Lung adenocarcinoma is the most common subtype of non-small-cell lung cancer. In this study, A549, a lung adenocarcinoma cell line widely used in vitro as a model for drug metabolism and as a transfection host, was used to study FGFR1. A stable lentiviral FGFR1 over-expression system in lung cancer cells is described for the study of anti-lung cancer drug candidates targeting FGFR1. Ligand binding to FGFR1 activates the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway and increases adhesion, invasion, and migration in this model. Using a unique FGF monoclonal antibody developed in the laboratory, the overactive PI3K pathway was effectively blocked, abrogating the negative metastatic signaling pathways in lung cancer cells. Importantly, this model provides an effective and simple screening kit for anti-FGF1 drug compounds for lung cancer treatment and a tool for understanding the molecular mechanisms of the FGFR1 signaling pathway in lung cancer. Furthermore, this toolkit based on a FGFR1 lentiviral construct model is transferrable to study FGFR1 signaling in any type of cancer cell.

Chakraborty D, Benham V, Jdanov V, et al.
A BET Bromodomain Inhibitor Suppresses Adiposity-Associated Malignant Transformation.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2018; 11(3):129-142 [PubMed] Related Publications
Almost half a million of all new cancers have been attributed to obesity and epidemiologic evidence implicates visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and high-fat diets (HFD) in increasing cancer risk. We demonstrated that VAT-derived fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) from mice fed an HFD or obese individuals stimulates the malignant transformation of epithelial cells. Mechanism-based strategies to prevent this VAT-enhanced tumorigenesis have not been explored. Clinical studies have indicated that bromodomain inhibitors have considerable potential as therapeutic agents for cancer by inhibiting the activity of several oncogenes, including c-Myc; however, their chemopreventive activity is unknown. We show herein that mice with visceral adiposity have elevated nuclear c-Myc expression in their epidermis. We hypothesized that the bromodomain inhibitor I-BET-762 (I-BET) would have efficacy in the prevention of malignant transformation by VAT and FGF2. We tested this hypothesis using our novel models of VAT-stimulated transformation

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