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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Heparan sulfate proteoglycans play a dual role in regulating fibroblast growth factor-2 mitogenic activity in human breast cancer cells.

The human breast cancer cell lines MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 differ in their responsiveness to fibroblast growth factor-2 ( FGF-2). This growth factor stimulates proliferation in well-differentiated MCF-7 cells, whereas the less well-differentiated MDA-MB-231 cells are insensitive to this molecule. To investigate the potential regulation of FGF-2 mitogenic activity by heparan sulfate proteoglycans ( HSPG), we have treated human breast cancer cells by glycosaminoglycan degrading enzymes or a metabolic inhibitor of proteoglycan sulfation: sodium chlorate. The interaction between FGF-2 and proteoglycans was assayed by examining the binding of 125I- FGF-2 to breast cancer cell cultures as well as to cationic membranes loaded with HSPG. Using MCF-7 cells, we showed that heparinase treatment inhibited FGF-2 binding to HSPG and completely abolished FGF-2 induced growth; chlorate treatment of MCF-7 cells decreased FGF-2 binding to HSPG and cell responsiveness in a dose-dependent manner. This demonstrates a requirement of adequately sulfated HSPG for FGF-2 growth-promoting activity on MCF-7 cells. In highly invasive MDA-MB-231 cells which produce twice as much HSPG as MCF-7 cells and which are not normally responsive to exogenously added FGF-2, chlorate treatment decreased FGF-2 binding to HSPG and induced FGF-2 mitogenic effect. This chlorate effect was dose dependent and observed at concentrations of 10-30 mM; higher chlorate concentrations completely abolished the FGF-2 effect. This shows that the HSPG level of sulfation can also negatively regulate the biological activity of FGF-2. Taken together, these results demonstrate a crucial role for HSPG in both positive and negative control of FGF-2 mitogenic activity in breast cancer cell proliferation.[1]


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