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Modulation of the proliferative response of breast cancer cells to growth factors by estrogen

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Bruce Westley, Dr Felicity May


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A number of growth factors have been implicated in the control of the proliferation of breast cancer cells and some have been reported to mediate the proliferative effects of oestradiol. MCF-7 cells were treated with growth factors in the presence and absence of oestradiol. Oestradiol increased the response of cells to the proliferative effects of epidermal growth factor (EGF), transforming growth factor alpha (TGF-alpha) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). Platelet derived growth factor (PDGF) and cathepsin D had no effect in the presence or absence of oestradiol while TGF-beta slightly reduced the stimulation by oestradiol. In the absence of oestradiol, there was little effect of combinations of growth factors although the effects of bFGF and IGF-I were additive. In the presence of oestradiol, the effects of bFGF and TGF-alpha were additive whereas bFGF acted as an IGF-I antagonist. Overall, bFGF had the greatest effect on cell proliferation although this was less marked than the previously described effect of the IGFs and insulin. The effects of oestradiol on the sensitivity of cells to the proliferative effects of bFGF did not appear to result from regulation of bFGF receptor expression.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stewart AJ, Westley BR, May FEB

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Cancer

Year: 1992

Volume: 66

Issue: 4

Pages: 640-648

Print publication date: 01/10/1992

ISSN (print): 0007-0920

ISSN (electronic): 1532-1827