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Volume 4, Issue 3, Pages 93-102

Autocrine Transforming Growth Factor-β Growth Pathway in Murine Osteosarcoma Cell Lines Associated with Inability to Affect Phosphorylation of Retinoblastoma Protein

1Pediatric Oncology Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda 20892-1928, MD, USA
2Laboratory of Cell Regulation and Carcinogenesis, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda 20892-1928, MD, USA

Copyright © 2000 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. Production of active transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β ) by human osteosarcoma may contribute to malignant progression through mechanisms that include induction of angiogenesis, immune suppression and autocrine growth stimulation of tumor cell growth.To study events associated with induction of cell proliferation by TGF-β , we have evaluated the TGF-β pathway in two murine osteosarcoma cell lines, K7 and K12.

Results. Northern and immunohistochemical analyses show that each cell line expressesTGF-β1 and TGF-β3 mRNA and protein. Both cell lines secrete activeTGF-β 1 and display a 30–50% reduction in growth when cultured in the presence of a TGF-β blocking antibody. Expression of TGF-β receptors TβRI, TβRII and TβRIII is demonstrated by affinity labeling with I125 -TGF-β 1, and the intermediates, Smads 2, 3 and 4, are uniformly expressed. Smads 2 and 3 are phosphorylated in response toTGF-β , while pRb phosphorylation in each osteosarcoma cell line is not affected by either exogenousTGF-β or TGF-β antibody.

Conclusions. The data implicate events downstream of Smad activation, including impaired regulation of pRb, in the lack of a growth inhibitory response toTGF-β , and indicate that this murine model of osteosarcoma is valid for investigating the roles of autocrineTGF-β in vivo.