Gene Summary

Gene:PDGFA; platelet-derived growth factor alpha polypeptide
Aliases: PDGF1, PDGF-A
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the platelet-derived growth factor family. The four members of this family are mitogenic factors for cells of mesenchymal origin and are characterized by a motif of eight cysteines. This gene product can exist either as a homodimer or as a heterodimer with the platelet-derived growth factor beta polypeptide, where the dimers are connected by disulfide bonds. Studies using knockout mice have shown cellular defects in oligodendrocytes, alveolar smooth muscle cells, and Leydig cells in the testis; knockout mice die either as embryos or shortly after birth. Two splice variants have been identified for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:platelet-derived growth factor subunit A
Source:NCBIAccessed: 27 February, 2015


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 (1990-2015)
Graph generated 28 February 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 27 February, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

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: PDGFA (cancer-related)

Ozawa T, Riester M, Cheng YK, et al.
Most human non-GCIMP glioblastoma subtypes evolve from a common proneural-like precursor glioma.
Cancer Cell. 2014; 26(2):288-300 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 11/08/2015 Related Publications
To understand the relationships between the non-GCIMP glioblastoma (GBM) subgroups, we performed mathematical modeling to predict the temporal sequence of driver events during tumorigenesis. The most common order of evolutionary events is 1) chromosome (chr) 7 gain and chr10 loss, followed by 2) CDKN2A loss and/or TP53 mutation, and 3) alterations canonical for specific subtypes. We then developed a computational methodology to identify drivers of broad copy number changes, identifying PDGFA (chr7) and PTEN (chr10) as driving initial nondisjunction events. These predictions were validated using mouse modeling, showing that PDGFA is sufficient to induce proneural-like gliomas and that additional NF1 loss converts proneural to the mesenchymal subtype. Our findings suggest that most non-GCIMP mesenchymal GBMs arise as, and evolve from, a proneural-like precursor.

Palomero J, Vegliante MC, Rodríguez ML, et al.
SOX11 promotes tumor angiogenesis through transcriptional regulation of PDGFA in mantle cell lymphoma.
Blood. 2014; 124(14):2235-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
SOX11 is overexpressed in several solid tumors and in the vast majority of aggressive mantle cell lymphomas (MCLs). We have recently proven that SOX11 silencing reduces tumor growth in a MCL xenograft model, consistent with the indolent clinical course of the human SOX11-negative mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). However, the direct oncogenic mechanisms and downstream effector pathways implicated in SOX11-driven transformation remain poorly understood. Here, we observed that SOX11-positive xenograft and human primary MCL tumors overexpressed angiogenic gene signatures and had a higher microvascular density compared with their SOX11-negative counterparts. Conditioned media of SOX11-positive MCL cell lines induced in vitro endothelial cell proliferation, migration, tube formation, and activation of downstream angiogenic pathways. We identified PDGFA as a SOX11 direct target gene upregulated in MCL cells whose inhibition impaired SOX11-enhanced in vitro angiogenic effects on endothelial cells. In addition, platelet-derived growth factor A (PDGFA) was overexpressed in SOX11-positive but not in SOX11-negative MCL. In vivo, imatinib impaired tumor angiogenesis and lymphoma growth in SOX11-positive MCL xenograft tumors. Overall, our results demonstrate a prominent role for SOX11 as a driver of proangiogenic signals in MCL, and highlight the SOX11-PDGFA axis as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of this aggressive disease.

Zhang Y, Wu JZ, Yang YQ, et al.
Expression of growth‑regulated oncogene‑1, hepatocyte growth factor, platelet‑derived growth factor‑AA and soluble E‑selectin and their association with high‑risk human papillomavirus infection in squamous cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix.
Mol Med Rep. 2014; 10(2):1013-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the clinical significance and prognostic value of growth‑regulated oncogene‑1 (GRO‑1), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), platelet‑derived growth factor‑AA (PDGF‑AA), soluble E‑selectin (sE‑selectin) and high‑risk human papillomavirus (HPV; types 16, 18/45, 31 and 33/52/58/67) infection in cervical squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC). A total of 426 cases were enrolled in the present study, of which 292 cases were patients with CSCC, 43 were patients with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and 91 were healthy controls. Luminex xMAP technology was used to detect the serum levels of GRO‑1, HGF, PDGF‑AA and sE‑selectin in all cases and two‑channel fluorescence quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to determine HPV DNA in cervical scrapings from CSCC and CIN patients. The results demonstrated that the serum levels of GRO‑1, HGF and sE‑selectin were significantly higher in patients with CSCC compared with patients with CIN and the healthy controls (P<0.0001). Compared with the CIN patients, the HPV positive rate in the CSCC patients significantly increased (P=0.013). The four factors were correlated with certain clinicopathological variables of CSCC patients to a certain degree (P<0.05) and the levels of HGF were closely associated with HPV infection (P=0.039). The receiver operating characteristic curves demonstrated that HGF obtained the highest diagnostic value compared with the other three factors. Multivariate Cox regression analysis demonstrated that the serum levels of HGF (P<0.0001), FIGO stage (P<0.0001) and pelvic lymph node metastasis (P=0.001) were independent prognostic factors in patients with CSCC, while high‑risk HPV infection did not show any significance in this analysis. These results demonstrated that HGF may be a useful prognostic biomarker rather than high‑risk HPV types in patients with CSCC.

Shaw VE, Lane B, Jenkinson C, et al.
Serum cytokine biomarker panels for discriminating pancreatic cancer from benign pancreatic disease.
Mol Cancer. 2014; 13:114 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 11/08/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: We investigated whether combinations of serum cytokines, used with logistic disease predictor models, could facilitate the detection of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC).
METHODS: The serum levels of 27 cytokines were measured in 241 subjects, 127 with PDAC, 49 with chronic pancreatitis, 20 with benign biliary obstruction and 45 healthy controls. Samples were split randomly into independent training and test sets. Cytokine biomarker panels were selected by identifying the top performing cytokines in best fit logistic regression models during multiple rounds of resampling from the training dataset. Disease prediction by logistic models, built using the resulting cytokine panels, was evaluated with training and test sets and further examined using resampled performance evaluation.
RESULTS: For the discrimination of PDAC patients from patients with benign disease, a panel of IP-10, IL-6, PDGF plus CA19-9 offered improved diagnostic performance over CA19-9 alone in the training (AUC 0.838 vs. 0.678) and independent test set (AUC 0.884 vs. 0.798). For the discrimination of PDAC from CP, a panel of IL-8, CA19-9, IL-6 and IP-10 offered improved diagnostic performance over CA19-9 alone with the training (AUC 0.880 vs. 0.758) and test set (AUC 0.912 vs. 0.848). Finally, for the discrimination of PDAC in the presence of jaundice from benign controls with jaundice, a panel of IP-10, IL-8, IL-1b and PDGF demonstrated improvement over CA19-9 in the training (AUC 0.810 vs. 0.614) and test set (AUC 0.857 vs. 0.659).
CONCLUSIONS: These findings support the potential role for cytokine panels in the discrimination of PDAC from patients with benign pancreatic diseases and warrant additional study.

De Vogelaere K, Aerts M, Haentjens P, et al.
Gastrointestinal stromal tumor of the stomach: progresses in diagnosis and treatment.
Acta Gastroenterol Belg. 2013; 76(4):403-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are rare mesenchymal smooth muscle neoplasms that can arise anywhere within the gastrointestinal tract. Approximately 60-70% are located in the stomach. Once considered variants of smooth muscle tumors, they are now understood as originating from the interstitial cells of Cajal or their stem cell precursors. The majority of GISTs (approximately 95%) express the CD117 antigen (KIT), a proto-oncogene product ; 85-95% of these neoplasms have mutations in the c-KIT gene; only 5-7% has mutations in platelet-derived-growth factor a (PDGFRa). GISTs can be asymptomatic and incidentally found during examination for other pathologies or at autopsy. The most common symptoms of gastric GIST are abdominal pain and bleeding. Diagnostic work up consists of endoscopy with ultrasonography and cross-sectional imaging studies (computed tomography and/or magnetic resonance imaging). Surgery remains the first-line treatment for localized gastric GISTs. Both open and laparoscopic operations have been shown to reduce recurrence rates and improve long-term survival. The use of small-molecule selective tyrosine kinase receptor inhibitors has revolutionized the treatment of advanced GISTs.

Lee J, Shin SJ, Chung IJ, et al.
A phase II open-label randomized multicenter trial of TSU-68 in combination with S-1 and oxaliplatin versus S-1 in combination with oxaliplatin in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.
Invest New Drugs. 2014; 32(3):561-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The combination of oxaliplatin-based treatments (oxaliplatin plus infusional 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin [FOLFOX] or oxaliplatin plus capecitabine [CapeOX]) and bevacizumab is a standard chemotherapy regimen for metastatic CRC (mCRC). However, several clinical studies that tested S-1 plus oxaliplatin (SOX) indicate that SOX is also a treatment option for mCRC. TSU-68 is an oral compound that inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor receptor and platelet-derived growth factor receptor. The recommended dose of TSU-68 + SOX was previously determined in a phase I study of mCRC patients. The goal of this trial was to evaluate the efficacy of TSU-68 in combination with SOX.
METHODS: This open-label multicenter randomized phase II trial was performed in Korea. Treatment-naive mCRC patients with a performance status of 0 or 1 were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive either TSU-68 + SOX or SOX alone. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS).
RESULTS: A total of 105 patients (TSU-68 + SOX, 52 patients; SOX alone, 53 patients) were randomized. The median PFS was 7.0 months in the TSU-68 + SOX group (hazard ratio [HR], 1.057) and 7.2 months in the SOX group (p = 0.8401). The most frequent grade 3 and 4 adverse events were thrombocytopenia (9.6 % [TSU-68 + SOX] vs. 26.4 % [SOX]), neutropenia (13.5 % [TSU-68 + SOX] vs. 15.1 % [SOX]), and anemia (3.8 % [TSU-68 + SOX] vs. 13.2 % [SOX]). We observed a difference between the 2 groups for all grades of anemia (15.4 % [TSU-68 + SOX] vs. 32.1 % [SOX]), diarrhea (30.8 % [TSU-68 + SOX] vs. 47.2 % [SOX]), vomiting (50.0 % [TSU-68 + SOX] vs. 26.4 % [SOX]), and chromaturia (23.1 % [TSU-68 + SOX] vs. 0.0 % [SOX]). Analysis using a Cox proportional hazard model showed that baseline interleukin 6 (IL-6) levels were associated with a survival benefit of TSU-68 (p = 0.012).
CONCLUSION: TSU-68 + SOX had a favorable safety profile. However, TSU-68 did not have a synergistic effect on the efficacy of SOX. The baseline serum IL-6 level could be a prognostic factor for TSU-68 efficacy.

Uchida T, Kitaura J, Nakahara F, et al.
Hes1 upregulation contributes to the development of FIP1L1-PDGRA-positive leukemia in blast crisis.
Exp Hematol. 2014; 42(5):369-379.e3 [PubMed] Related Publications
We have previously shown that elevated expression of Hairy enhancer of split 1 (Hes1) contributes to blast crisis transition in Bcr-Abl-positive chronic myelogenous leukemia. Here we investigate whether Hes1 is involved in the development of other myeloid neoplasms. Notably, Hes1 expression was elevated in only a few cases of 65 samples with different types of myeloid neoplasms. Interestingly, elevated expression of Hes1 was found in two of five samples of Fip1-like1 platelet-derived growth factor receptor-α (FIP1L1-PDGFA)-positive myeloid neoplasms associated with eosinophilia. Whereas FIP1L1-PDGFRα alone induced acute T-cell leukemia or myeloproliferative neoplasms in mouse bone marrow transplantation models, mice transplanted with bone marrow cells expressing both Hes1 and FIP1L1-PDGFRα developed acute leukemia characterized by an expansion of myeloid blasts and leukemic cells without eosinophilic granules. FIP1L1-PDGFRα conferred cytokine-independent growth to Hes1-transduced common myeloid progenitors, interleukin-3-dependent cells. Imatinib inhibited the growth of common myeloid progenitors expressing Hes1 with FIP1L1-PDGFRα, but not with imatinib-resistant FIP1L1-PDGFRα mutants harboring T674I or D842V. In contrast, ponatinib efficiently eradicated leukemic cells expressing Hes1 and the imatinib-resistant FLP1L1-PDGFRΑ mutant in vitro and in vivo. Thus, we have established mouse models of FIP1L1-PDGFRA-positive leukemia in myeloid blast crisis, which will help elucidate the pathogenesis of the disease and develop a new treatment for it.

Piccaluga PP, Rossi M, Agostinelli C, et al.
Platelet-derived growth factor alpha mediates the proliferation of peripheral T-cell lymphoma cells via an autocrine regulatory pathway.
Leukemia. 2014; 28(8):1687-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
Peripheral T-cell lymphomas not otherwise specified (PTCL/NOS) are very aggressive tumors characterized by consistent aberrant expression of platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRA). In this study, we aimed to identify the determinants of PDGFRA activity in PTCL/NOS and to elucidate the biological consequences of its activation. We observed overexpression of the PDGFRA gene by gene expression profiling in most of the tested PTCLs and confirmed the expression of PDGFRA and phospho-PDGFRA using immunohistochemistry. The integrity of the PDFGRA locus was demonstrated using several different approaches, including massive parallel sequencing and Sanger sequencing. PDGF-AA was found to be expressed and secreted by PTCL/NOS cells and to be necessary and sufficient for PDGFRA phosphorylation ex vivo by sustaining an autocrine stimulation. We documented consistently high PDGF-A expression in primary biopsies and patients' plasma and tracked PDGFRA signaling in primary tumors, achieving evidence of its activation. Indeed, we found that STAT1 and STAT5 are implicated in PDGFRA signaling transduction. Finally, we demonstrated that PDGFRA activation supported tumor cell proliferation and provided the first evidence of the anti-lymphoma activity of PDGRA inhibition in a PTCL/NOS patient. Altogether, our data demonstrated that PDGFRA activity fosters PTCL/NOS proliferation via an autocrine loop.

Mahajanakatti AB, Murthy G, Sharma N, Skariyachan S
Exploring inhibitory potential of Curcumin against various cancer targets by in silico virtual screening.
Interdiscip Sci. 2014; 6(1):13-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
Various types of cancer accounts for 10% of total death worldwide which necessitates better therapeutic strategies. Curcumin, a curcuminoid present in Curcuma longa, shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties. Present study, we aimed to analyze inhibitory properties of curcumin towards virulent proteins for various cancers by computer aided virtual screening. Based on literature studies, twenty two receptors were selected which have critical virulent functions in various cancer. The binding efficiencies of curcumin towards selected targets were studied by molecular docking. Out of all, curcumin showed best results towards epidermal growth factor (EGF), virulent protein of gastric cancer; glutathione-S-transferase Pi gene (GST-PI), virulent protein for prostate cancer; platelet-derived growth factor alpha (PDGFA), virulent protein for mesothelioma and glioma compared with their natural ligands. The calculated binding energies of their docked conformations with curcumin found to be -7.59 kcal/mol, -7.98 kcal/mol and -7.93 kcal/mol respectively. Further, a comparative study was performed to screen binding efficiency of curcumin with two conventional antitumor agents, litreol and triterpene. Docking studies revealed that calculated binding energies of docked complex of litreol and EGF, GST-PI and PDGFA were found to be -5.08 kcal/mol, -3.69 kcal/mol and -1.86 kcal/mol respectively. The calculated binding energies of triterpene with EGF and PDGFA were found to be -4.02 kcal/mol and -3.11 kcal/mol respectively, whereas GST-PI showed +6.07 kcal/mol, indicate poor binding. The predicted pharmacological features of curcumin found to be better than litreol and triterpene. Our study concluded that curcumin has better interacting properties towards these cancer targets than their normal ligands and conventional antitumor agents. Our data pave insight for designing of curcumin as novel inhibitors against various types of cancer.

Berndt A, Büttner R, Gühne S, et al.
Effects of activated fibroblasts on phenotype modulation, EGFR signalling and cell cycle regulation in OSCC cells.
Exp Cell Res. 2014; 322(2):402-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
Crosstalk between carcinoma associated fibroblasts (CAFs) and oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cells is suggested to mediate phenotype transition of cancer cells as a prerequisite for tumour progression, to predict patients' outcome, and to influence the efficacy of EGFR inhibitor therapies. Here we investigate the influence of activated fibroblasts as a model for CAFs on phenotype and EGFR signalling in OSCC cells in vitro. For this, immortalised hTERT-BJ1 fibroblasts were activated with TGFβ1 and PDGFAB to generate a myofibroblast or proliferative phenotype, respectively. Conditioned media (FCMTGF, FCMPDGF) were used to stimulate PE/CA-PJ15 OSCC cells. Results were compared to the effect of conditioned media of non-stimulated fibroblasts (FCMB). FCMTGF stimulation leads to an up-regulation of vimentin in the OSCC cells and an enhancement of invasive behaviour, indicating EMT-like effects. Similarly, FCMTGF≫FCMPDGF induced up-regulation of EGFR, but not of ErbB2/ErbB3. In addition, we detected an increase in basal activities of ERK, PI3K/Akt and Stat3 (FCMTGF>FCMPDGF) accompanied by protein interaction of vimentin with pERK. These effects are correlated with an increased proliferation. In summary, our results suggest that the activated myofibroblast phenotype provides soluble factors which are able to induce EMT-like phenomena and to increase EGFR signalling as well as cell proliferation in OSCC cells. Our results indicate a possible influence of activated myofibroblasts on EGFR-inhibitor therapy. Therefore, CAFs may serve as promising novel targets for combined therapy strategies.

Moriya M, Yamada T, Tamura M, et al.
Antitumor effect and antiangiogenic potential of the mTOR inhibitor temsirolimus against malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 31(3):1109-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
The mTOR inhibitor temsirolimus has antitumor and antiangiogenic activity against several carcinomas, yet few reports document the efficacy of temsirolimus against malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). Therefore, we evaluated the efficacy of temsirolimus and the antiangiogenic effect of temsirolimus in the treatment of MPM. We examined the efficacy of temsirolimus alone and the efficacy of the combination of temsirolimus and cisplatin or pemetrexed against four MPM cell lines using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The effect of temsirolimus on the production of proangiogenic cytokines by MPM cell lines was examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Expression of mTOR and proangiogenic cytokines in clinical specimens from MPM patients was determined by immunohistochemistry. Temsirolimus inhibited cell viability and suppressed cell proliferation of all MPM cell lines. Combined treatment with temsirolimus and cisplatin inhibited the viability of all MPM cell lines more effectively than temsirolimus alone. Temsirolimus strongly inhibited the phosphorylation of p70s6k, a downstream molecule of mTOR, in all MPM cell lines and led to an increase in the levels of cleaved caspase-3 in the H226 and Y-meso14 cells. Temsirolimus also inhibited the production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and platelet-derived growth factor-AA (PDGF-AA). Phosphorylated mTOR and high expression of VEGF and PDGF were detected in 2 and 3, respectively, out of the 5 MPM specimens. These results suggest that temsirolimus has activity against MPM cells by inhibition of cell proliferation and angiogenesis, and may be beneficial for a subset of MPM patients with high mTOR expression.

Skoda J, Neradil J, Zitterbart K, et al.
EGFR signaling in the HGG-02 glioblastoma cell line with an unusual loss of EGFR gene copy.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 31(1):480-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene amplification and the overexpression of EGFR are described as common features of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Nevertheless, we previously reported the loss of EGFR gene copy in a GBM specimen from a patient with an unusually favorable course of the disease, and the HGG-02 cell line with this aberration was successfully derived from this tumor. Here, we present a detailed analysis of changes in gene expression and cell signaling in the HGG-02 cell line; the GM7 reference cell line with a standard EGFR gene copy number derived from a very aggressive GBM was used as a control. We confirmed the downregulation of EGFR expression and signaling in HGG-02 cells using different methods (RTK analysis, gene profiling and RT-PCR). Other changes that may have contributed to the non-aggressive phenotype of the primary tumor were identified, including the downregulated phosphorylation of the Axl and Trk receptors, as well as increased activity of JNK and p38 kinases. Notably, differences in PDGF signaling were detected in both of these cell lines; HGG-02 cells preferentially expressed and signaled through PDGFRα, and PDGFRβ was strongly overexpressed and phosphorylated in the GM7 reference cell line. Using expression profiling of cancer-related genes, we revealed the specific profile of HGG-02 cells that included upregulated tumor-suppressors as well as downregulated genes associated with the extracellular matrix. This study represents the first comprehensive analysis of gene expression and cell signaling in glioblastoma cells with lower EGFR gene dosage. As indicated by our results, the TAM receptors, Trk receptors and PDGFRs need to be investigated further since their regulation appears to be important for glioblastoma biological features as well as the clinical course of the disease.

Le Cesne A, Blay JY, Reichardt P, Joensuu H
Optimizing tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy in gastrointestinal stromal tumors: exploring the benefits of continuous kinase suppression.
Oncologist. 2013; 18(11):1192-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 11/08/2015 Related Publications
The oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) imatinib has revolutionized the treatment of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs), most of which harbor oncogenic mutation in genes that encode the receptor tyrosine kinases KIT or PDGFA. Imatinib is the standard of care for patients with advanced GIST and for patients with primary GIST at significant risk of recurrence after surgery. Design. This review discusses data supporting continuous kinase suppression with imatinib and key issues, including response to imatinib reintroduction, effect of treatment interruption on secondary resistance to imatinib, and prognostic factors associated with sustained response to imatinib. Results. Long-term follow-up results of the B2222 study and updated results of the BFR14 trial demonstrate that continuous imatinib treatment in patients with advanced GIST is associated with reduced risk of progression. For patients progressing on or intolerant of imatinib, continuing therapy with TKIs sunitinib followed by regorafenib is recommended. In the adjuvant setting, final results of the trial by the Scandinavian Sarcoma Group and the Sarcoma Group of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Internistische Onkologie demonstrate that 3 years of adjuvant imatinib, compared with 1 year, significantly reduces the risk of recurrence and improves overall survival of patients with KIT-positive GIST at high risk of recurrence. Conclusions. Maintenance of therapy with TKIs is the key to successful treatment of GIST. Results from recent studies provide a strong rationale for continuous imatinib treatment for 3 years following surgical resection and long-term continuous administration in advanced or metastatic GIST.

Scamuffa N, Sfaxi F, Ma J, et al.
Prodomain of the proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin Furin (ppFurin) protects from tumor progression and metastasis.
Carcinogenesis. 2014; 35(3):528-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
Proteolytic maturation of various precursor proteins by the proprotein convertase Furin is now considered as a crucial step in tumor progression and metastasis. Here, we report the repression of the malignant and metastatic potential of carcinoma cells by the prodomain region of Furin (ppFurin), a naturally occurring inhibitor of this convertase. Overexpression of ppFurin in carcinoma cells in a stable manner significantly reduced their convertase activity and ability to mediate processing of the Furin cancer-related substrates platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-A and insulin-like growth factor-I receptor precursors. Unprocessed platelet-derived growth factor-A produced by ppFurin expressing cells failed to induce the activation of Akt in the platelet-derived growth factor receptor-expressing cells NIH BALB/c-3T3 and treatment of ppFurin expressing cells with insulin-like growth factor-I failed to induce Akt phosphorylation, compared with controls. The malignant potential of ppFurin expressing cells was significantly reduced as revealed by the loss of anchorage-independent growth and survival that associated their increased chemosensitivity. In vivo, comparative studies revealed that expression of ppFurin in the carcinoma cells MDA-MB-231 and CT-26 cells inhibited tumor growth when subcutaneously inoculated in nude mice. The use of an experimental liver colorectal metastasis model revealed the reduced ability of metastatic carcinoma CT-26 cells to colonize the liver in response to intrasplenic/portal inoculation. Further analyses revealed reduced Furin activity in tumors derived from intrasplenic inoculated mice with ppFurin expressing CT-26 cells. This finding highlights the role of Furin in the malignant and metastatic potential of tumor cells and suggests the possible consideration of using its naturally occurring inhibitor ppFurin in anticancer therapy.

Nagaraju GP, Ganji PN, Park W, et al.
Antiangiogenic effects of ganetespib in colorectal cancer mediated through inhibition of HIF-1α and STAT-3.
Angiogenesis. 2013; 16(4):903-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) and STAT-3 play essential roles in angiogenesis. HIF-1α and STAT-3 are clients of the heat shock protein 90 (HSP90). We hypothesized that ganetespib, a potent HSP90 inhibitor, would disrupt angiogenesis in colorectal cancer (CRC) through inhibition of HIF-1α and STAT-3. CRC cell lines (HCT116 and HT29) were used in all the experiments. Egg CAM and HUVEC assays revealed decreased angiogenesis in ganetespib treated cell lines. Ganetespib inhibited matrigel plug vascularization and tumor growth of xenografts. Significant inhibition of PDGFA, FGF2, Ang-1, Ang-2, TGFβ1, VEGF, HIF-1α and STAT-3 expression was observed in both cell lines treated ganetespib. HIF-1α overexpression resulted in the increase VEGF and STAT-3 expression and this was inhibited by ganetespib. HIF-1α knockdown inhibited VEGF and STAT-3 expression. STAT-3 knockdown inhibited VEGF but not HIF-1α expression. HSP90, STAT-3 and VEGF expression was significantly higher in CRC compared to adjacent normal tissue. Significant downregulation of PDGFA, FGF2, Ang-1, Ang-2, TGFβ1, VEGF, STAT-3 and HIF-1α mRNA was observed in the post ganetespib treatment tumor samples from patients with rectal cancer. These results collectively suggest that inhibition of HSP90 is a promising antiangiogenic strategy in CRC. HSP90 angiogenic effects are mediated through HIF-1α and STAT-3.

Hoffmann AC, Goekkurt E, Danenberg PV, et al.
EGFR, FLT1 and heparanase as markers identifying patients at risk of short survival in cholangiocarcinoma.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(5):e64186 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 11/08/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cholangiocarcinoma remains to be a tumor with very few treatment choices and limited prognosis. In this study, we sought to determine the prognostic role of fms-related tyrosine kinase 1/vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 (FLT1/VEGFR1), heparanase (HPSE) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene expression in patients with resected CCC.
METHODS: 47 formalin-fixed paraffin embedded FFPE tumor samples from patients with resected CCC were analyzed. FFPE tissues were dissected using laser-captured microdissection and analyzed for FLT1, FLT4, HPSE, Hif1a, VEGFA/C, HB-EGF, PDGFA, PDGF-RA and EGFR mRNA expression using a quantitative real-time RT-PCR method. Gene expression values (relative mRNA levels) are expressed as ratios between the target gene and internal reference genes (beta-actin, b2mg, rplp2, sdha).
RESULTS: EGFR, FLT1 and HPSE expression levels were significantly associated with overall survival (OS). FLT1 showed the strongest significant independent association with overall survival in a multivariate cox regression analysis when compared to the other genes and clinicopathological factors with a nearly 5 times higher relative risk (4.74) of dying earlier when expressed in low levels (p = 0.04). ROC Curve Analysis revealed that measuring EGFR potentially identifies patients at risk of a worsened outcome with a sensitivity of 80% and a specificity of 75% (p = 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: EGFR and FLT1 seem to be potential markers to identify those patients at high risk of dying from cholangiocarcinoma. Therefore these markers may help to identify patient subgroups in need for a more aggressive approach in a disease that is in desperate need for new approaches.

Lin ZY, Chuang WL
Hepatocellular carcinoma cells cause different responses in expressions of cancer-promoting genes in different cancer-associated fibroblasts.
Kaohsiung J Med Sci. 2013; 29(6):312-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer-associated fibroblast (CAF) is one of the most crucial components of the tumor microenvironment to promote the invasiveness of cancer cells. The interactions between cancer cells and CAFs are bidirectional. Our recent study showed that up-regulations of chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2), chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 26 (CCL26), interleukin 6 (IL6), and lysyl oxidase-like 2 (LOXL2) genes in cancer cells were parts of the common effects of CAFs on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells to promote proliferation, migration and invasion of cancer cells. However, the subject of how HCC cells to influence the gene expressions of CAFs still needs to be clarified. The purpose of this study was to investigate this issue. Two human HCC (HCC24/KMUH, HCC38/KMUH) and two human CAF cell lines (F26/KMUH, F28/KMUH) were studied. Influence of HCC38/KMUH cancer cells on differential expressions of genes in F28/KMUH CAFs was detected by microarray to select target genes for further analysis. Both HCC cell lines increased proliferation (all p < 0.005) and migration (all p < 0.0001) of two CAF cell lines. HCC24/KMUH cancer cells had stronger ability to promote migration of F26/KMUH CAFs than HCC38/KMUH cancer cells did (p < 0.0001). Eleven up-regulated cancer-promoting genes, including apelin (APLN), CCL2, CCL26, fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1), fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), IL6, mucin 1 (MUC1), LOXL2, platelet-derived growth factor alpha polypeptide (PDGFA), phosphoglycerate kinase 1 (PGK1), and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) detected by microarray showed good correlation with results of quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction study. Among these genes, HCC24/KMUH cancer cells had same tendency of effects on differential expressions of genes in F28/KMUH CAFs as HCC38/KMUH cancer cells did. However, the responses of F26/KMUH CAFs to different HCC cell lines were variable. Only PGK1 gene was consistently up-regulated and PDGFA gene was consistently down-regulated caused by both HCC cell lines in F26/KMUH CAFs. Besides PGK1 gene, HCC38/KMUH cancer cells only up-regulated APLN, LOXL2, and VEGFA genes and HCC24/KMUH cancer cells only up-regulated FGF2 gene in F26/KMUH CAFs. In conclusion, HCC cells can promote proliferation and migration of CAFs. However, the impact of HCC cells on differential expressions of cancer-promoting genes in CAFs is influenced by the characteristics of CAFs. This implies that blocking single or several particular cancer-promoting genes in CAFs is unable to become a common stratagem for the treatment of HCC.

Aderhold C, Umbreit C, Faber A, et al.
Chemotherapeutic alteration of VEGF, PDGF and PDGFRα/β expression under 5-FU vs. docetaxel in HPV-transformed squamous cell carcinoma compared to HPV-negative HNSCC in vitro.
Anticancer Res. 2013; 33(5):1951-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the most common malignant epithelial tumor in the upper aerodigestive tract. The incidence of HNSCC induced by the oncogenic human papilloma virus (HPV) is rising, indicating a growing importance of the viral etiology. Cell proliferation, migration and tumor vascularization are regulated by a set of angiogenic peptides such as PDGF (platelet-derived growth factor), PDGFRα/β (platelet-derived growth factor receptor α/β) and VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor). In locally advanced HNSCC docetaxel is used for induction chemotherapy (ICT) combined with platinum-based chemotherapy and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). This study sought to evaluate the expression of angiogenic factors (VEGF, PDGF and PDGFRα/β) in HPV-positive (CERV196) and HPV-negative squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC 11A and 14C) and the efficacy of chemotherapy with docetaxel as a potential treatment modality, compared to 5-FU as a single-drug application.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Tumor cell lines were incubated with 5-FU or docetaxel at a concentration of 1.0 and 5.0 μmol/ml. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and immunohistochemical analyses were carried out after 48, 72, 120, 192 and 240 hours, in order to identify changes in protein expression of VEGF, PDGF and PDGFRα/β.
RESULTS: We demonstrated a significant reduction of VEGF and PDGFRβ expression after incubation with docetaxel by ELISA and of PDGF by immunohistochemistry, irrespective of the HPV status, whereas the application of 5-FU had a significantly weaker impact on the expression of angiogenic peptides. HPV-positive CERV196 cells were characterized by a reduced susceptibility to a docetaxel-altered expression.
CONCLUSION: Although neither of the applied drugs are selective anti-angiogenic agents, docetaxel surprisingly was demonstrated to cause a significant decrease of angiogenic factors in this study.

Miettinen M, Lasota J
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors.
Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2013; 42(2):399-415 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 11/08/2015 Related Publications
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are the most common mesenchymal tumor of the gastrointestinal tract. Soon after GIST was recognized as a tumor driven by a KIT or platelet-derived growth factor receptor mutation, it became the first solid tumor target for tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapies. More recently, alternative molecular mechanisms for GIST pathogenesis have been discovered. These are related to deficiencies in the succinate dehydrogenase complex, NF1-gene alterations in connection with neurofibromatosis type 1 tumor syndrome, and mutational activation of the BRAF oncogene in very rare cases.

John K, Lahoti TS, Wagner K, et al.
The Ah receptor regulates growth factor expression in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines.
Mol Carcinog. 2014; 53(10):765-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previous studies in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cell lines have revealed that the Ah receptor (AHR) plays a significant role in mediating the "aggressive" phenotype of these cells, which includes enhanced inflammatory signaling (e.g., IL6) and migratory potential. Here we sought to identify putative novel targets of the AHR associated with enhanced tumor invasiveness. Global gene expression analysis identified a number of genes that are repressed upon treatment of OSC-19 or HN30 cells with an AHR antagonist. Three growth factors were targets of AHR activity; amphiregulin (AREG), epiregulin (EREG), and platelet-derived growth factor A (PDGFA) were repressed by an AHR antagonist and further examined. Quantitative PCR analysis, ELISA, and siRNA-mediated knock down of AHR revealed an attenuation of basal and/or induced levels of expression of these growth factors in two HNSCC lines, following AHR antagonism. In silico analysis revealed that these growth factors possess dioxin-like response elements. Two other AHR ligands, 6-formylindolo[3,2-b]carbazole and benzo(a)pyrene (BP) also elicited similar responses. In conclusion, this study identified AREG, EREG, and PDGFA as growth factor targets of AHR activity associated with metastatic phenotype of HNSCC cells, suggesting that attenuation of AHR activity may be a therapeutic strategy.

Abe H, Hino R, Fukayama M
Platelet-derived growth factor-A and vascular endothelial growth factor-C contribute to the development of pulmonary tumor thrombotic microangiopathy in gastric cancer.
Virchows Arch. 2013; 462(5):523-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pulmonary tumor thrombotic microangiopathy is a rare but lethal complication in cancer-bearing patients, particularly those with gastric cancer. It is characterized by cancer cell emboli with marked intimal proliferation. In the present study, we tried to elucidate the pathogenesis of pulmonary tumor thrombotic microangiopathy, notably angiogenic factors specific for cancer cells lodged in pulmonary arteries. An autopsy series of gastric cancer (51 cases) was reviewed for pulmonary tumor thrombotic microangiopathy and pulmonary tumor cell emboli without intimal proliferation. Pathological and immunohistochemical characteristics were compared between two groups. In eight cases in muscular pulmonary arteries, tumor thrombotic microangiopathy was noted, and in three cases pulmonary tumor emboli without intimal proliferation was noted. Histological features of pulmonary tumor thrombotic microangiopathy included small nests or single cancer cells accompanied by intimal proliferation, whereas in pulmonary tumor emboli large cell nests prevailed. By immunohistochemistry, in pulmonary tumor thrombotic microangiopathy, cancer cells expressed platelet-derived growth factor-A (7/8 cases) and vascular endothelial growth factor-C (8/8) more frequently than in pulmonary tumor emboli (0/3 and 1/3; P = 0.02 and P = 0.055, respectively). Expression of tissue factor, vascular endothelial growth factor-A and -D, osteopontin, fibroblast growth factor-2, and platelet-derived growth factor-B was similar in both groups. Platelet-derived growth factor-A and vascular endothelial growth factor-C might induce intimal proliferation in pulmonary arteries and contribute to the development of pulmonary tumor thrombotic microangiopathy.

Cadamuro M, Nardo G, Indraccolo S, et al.
Platelet-derived growth factor-D and Rho GTPases regulate recruitment of cancer-associated fibroblasts in cholangiocarcinoma.
Hepatology. 2013; 58(3):1042-53 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 11/08/2015 Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is characterized by an abundant stromal reaction. Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are pivotal in tumor growth and invasiveness and represent a potential therapeutic target. To understand the mechanisms leading to CAF recruitment in CCA, we studied (1) expression of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in surgical CCA specimens and CCA cells, (2) lineage tracking of an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-expressing human male CCA cell line (EGI-1) after xenotransplantation into severe-combined-immunodeficient mice, (3) expression of platelet-derived growth factors (PDGFs) and their receptors in vivo and in vitro, (4) secretion of PDGFs by CCA cells, (5) the role of PDGF-D in fibroblast recruitment in vitro, and (6) downstream effectors of PDGF-D signaling. CCA cells expressed several EMT biomarkers, but not alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA). Xenotransplanted CCA masses were surrounded and infiltrated by α-SMA-expressing CAFs, which were negative for EGFP and the human Y-probe, but positive for the murine Y-probe. CCA cells were strongly immunoreactive for PDGF-A and -D, whereas CAFs expressed PDGF receptor (PDGFR)β. PDGF-D, a PDGFRβ agonist, was exclusively secreted by cultured CCA cells. Fibroblast migration was potently induced by PDGF-D and CCA conditioned medium and was significantly inhibited by PDGFRβ blockade with Imatinib and by silencing PDGF-D expression in CCA cells. In fibroblasts, PDGF-D activated the Rac1 and Cdc42 Rho GTPases and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Selective inhibition of Rho GTPases (particularly Rac1) and of JNK strongly reduced PDGF-D-induced fibroblast migration.
CONCLUSION: CCA cells express several mesenchymal markers, but do not transdifferentiate into CAFs. Instead, CCA cells recruit CAFs by secreting PDGF-D, which stimulates fibroblast migration through PDGFRβ and Rho GTPase and JNK activation. Targeting tumor or stroma interactions with inhibitors of the PDGF-D pathway may offer a novel therapeutic approach.

Lassarre C, Legay C, Karam M, Ricort JM
Platelet-derived growth factor negatively regulates the insulin-like growth factor signaling pathway through the coordinated action of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and protein kinase C beta I.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013; 1833(6):1367-77 [PubMed] Related Publications
We recently described that epidermal and fibroblast growth factors (EGF and FGF) regulate the IGF-I signaling pathway at the level of IRS-1 through the cooperative action of two independent signaling pathways; one dependent on phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) and the other on protein kinase D1 (PKD1) (Karam et al. [22]). To determine whether this mechanism could be generalized to another tyrosine kinase receptor-dependent growth factor, the effect of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) on the IGF-I signaling pathway was studied. PDGF inhibited IGF-I-stimulated IRS-1 tyrosine phosphorylation and subsequent IGF-I-induced PI 3-kinase activity, and stimulated IRS-1 serine 307 phosphorylation. These effects were mediated through a PI 3-kinase-dependent but extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-independent signaling pathway. However, PDGF-induced IRS-1 serine 307 phosphorylation was not sufficient per se to inhibit the IGF-I signaling but required another independent pathway. Noteworthy, although acutely stimulated by PDGF, and contrary to what we previously described (Karam et al. [22]), PKD1 did not associate with IRS-1and did not inhibit the IGF-I signaling in response to PDGF. However, we identified PKCβI as a new regulatory partner of PI 3-kinase for PDGF-induced inhibition of the IGF-I signaling pathway. Therefore, our results reinforce the idea that a coordinated action of two independent pathways seems absolutely necessary to negatively regulate IRS-1. Moreover, they also demonstrated that, depending of the cross-talk considered, subtle and specific regulatory mechanisms occur at the level of IRS-1 and that a unique regulatory model is not conceivable.

Kozono S, Ohuchida K, Eguchi D, et al.
Pirfenidone inhibits pancreatic cancer desmoplasia by regulating stellate cells.
Cancer Res. 2013; 73(7):2345-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pancreatic stellate cells (PSC), which are implicated in desmoplasia in pancreatic cancer, enhance the malignancy of cancer cells and confer resistance to established treatments. We investigated whether the antifibrotic agent pirfenidone can suppress desmoplasia and exert antitumor effects against pancreatic cancer. Primary PSCs were established from pancreatic cancer tissue obtained during surgery. In vitro, pirfenidone inhibited the proliferation, invasiveness, and migration of PSCs in a dose-dependent manner. Although supernatants of untreated PSCs increased the proliferation, invasiveness, and migration of pancreatic cancer cells (PCC), supernatants of pirfenidone-treated PSCs decreased these effects. Exposure to PCC supernatant increased the production of platelet-derived growth factor-A, hepatic growth factor, collagen type I, fibronectin, and periostin in PSCs, which was significantly reduced by pirfenidone. Mice were subcutaneously implanted with PCCs (SUIT-2 cells) and PSCs into the right flank and PCCs alone into the left flank. Oral administration of pirfenidone to these mice significantly reduced tumor growth of co-implanted PCCs and PSCs, but not of PCCs alone. Pirfenidone also decreased the proliferation of PSCs and the deposition of collagen type I and periostin in tumors. In mice with orthotopic tumors consisting of PCCs co-implanted with PSCs, pirfenidone suppressed tumor growth, reduced the number of peritoneal disseminated nodules, and reduced the incidence of liver metastasis. Pirfenidone in combination with gemcitabine more effectively suppressed orthotopic tumor growth compared with pirfenidone or gemcitabine alone. In conclusion, our findings indicate that pirfenidone is a promising antitumor agent for pancreatic cancer, owing to its suppression of desmoplasia through regulating PSCs.

Marimuthu A, Subbannayya Y, Sahasrabuddhe NA, et al.
SILAC-based quantitative proteomic analysis of gastric cancer secretome.
Proteomics Clin Appl. 2013; 7(5-6):355-66 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 11/08/2015 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Gastric cancer is a commonly occurring cancer in Asia and one of the leading causes of cancer deaths. However, there is no reliable blood-based screening test for this cancer. Identifying proteins secreted from tumor cells could lead to the discovery of clinically useful biomarkers for early detection of gastric cancer.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: A SILAC-based quantitative proteomic approach was employed to identify secreted proteins that were differentially expressed between neoplastic and non-neoplastic gastric epithelial cells. Proteins from the secretome were subjected to SDS-PAGE and SCX-based fractionation, followed by mass spectrometric analysis on an LTQ-Orbitrap Velos mass spectrometer. Immunohistochemical labeling was employed to validate a subset of candidates using tissue microarrays.
RESULTS: We identified 2205 proteins in the gastric cancer secretome of which 263 proteins were overexpressed greater than fourfold in gastric cancer-derived cell lines as compared to non-neoplastic gastric epithelial cells. Three candidate proteins, proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9), lectin mannose binding 2 (LMAN2), and PDGFA-associated protein 1 (PDAP1) were validated by immunohistochemical labeling.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: We report here the largest cancer secretome described to date. The novel biomarkers identified in the current study are excellent candidates for further testing as early detection biomarkers for gastric adenocarcinoma.

Mansfield AS, Nevala WK, Dronca RS, et al.
Normal ageing is associated with an increase in Th2 cells, MCP-1 (CCL1) and RANTES (CCL5), with differences in sCD40L and PDGF-AA between sexes.
Clin Exp Immunol. 2012; 170(2):186-93 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 11/08/2015 Related Publications
We have observed T helper type 2 (Th2) polarization of systemic immunity in patients with metastatic malignant melanoma. We hypothesized that similar changes in systemic immunity occur with ageing and may be permissive for the development of melanoma. We analysed the peripheral blood of 389 healthy blood donors. All subjects were profiled for peripheral blood T cell and B cell subsets, and 58 of these subjects were profiled for antigen-specific cytotoxic T cell subsets [cytomegalovirus (CMV), influenza and melanoma antigen recognized by T cells 1 (MART-1)]. Ninety-five separate healthy subjects underwent profiling of 42 plasma cytokines. Ageing was associated positively with CD4(+) CD294(+) Th2 cells, and associated negatively with CD3(+) T cells, cytotoxic T cells and T helper cells. Ageing was also associated negatively with CMV-, influenza- and MART-1-specific naive and CD8(+) T cells. There were significant increases in plasma monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1) (CCL1) and regulated upon activation normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES) (CCL5) with age. We observed differences in cytokine profiles between males and females; specifically, women had higher levels of sCD40L and PDGF-AA. In summary, we demonstrated in healthy blood donors that ageing was associated with an increase in cellular Th2 bias and a decline in total numbers of T cells. Additionally, there was an increase in MCP-1 and RANTES with ageing. Women had higher levels of sCD40L and PDGF-AA than men.

Zhang JB, Sun HC, Jia WD, et al.
Up-regulation of platelet-derived growth factor-A is responsible for the failure of re-initiated interferon alpha treatment in hepatocellular carcinoma.
BMC Cancer. 2012; 12:439 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 11/08/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Postoperative interferon-α(IFN-α) treatment delays hepatocellular carcinoma(HCC) recurrence and prolongs patient survival, and may thus be an effective form of adjuvant therapy. However, clinical observations found that HCC recurs in some patients within 8 months of IFN-α treatment being discontinued. We investigated whether HCC regrowth appears after IFN-α is discontinued, whether re-initiated IFN-α is effective, and the underlying mechanisms of IFN-α treatment.
METHODS: The human HCC nude mouse model LCI-D20 was used to study the effects of IFN-α treatment, discontinued IFN-α treatment, and re-initiated IFN-α treatment on tumor growth. Tumor weight, microvessel density(MVD), serum vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and tumor cell apoptosis were analyzed. Angiogenesis-related factors were studied using cDNA microarray in different tumor samples and confirmed using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction(RT-PCR) and Western blotting assays. Finally, imatinib was added with re-initiated IFN-α treatment to improve efficacy.
RESULTS: IFN-α (1.5 × 107 U/kg/day for 20 days) suppressed HCC growth by 60.3% and decreased MVD by 52.2% compared with the control. However, tumor regrowth occurred after IFN-α was discontinued, and re-initiated IFN-α treatment was not effective for inhibiting tumor growth or reducing MVD compared with a saline-treated group. cDNA microarray showed VEGF was down-regulated while platelet-derived growth factor-A (PDGF-A) was up-regulated when IFN-α treatment was re-initiated. These findings were further confirmed with RT-PCR and Western blotting assay. The combination of imatinib with re-initiated IFN-α reduced HCC weight by 30.7% and decreased MVD by 31.1% compared with IFN-α treatment only (P=0.003 and 0.015, respectively).
CONCLUSION: Tumor regrowth occurred after IFN-α treatment was discontinued. Re-initiated IFN-α treatment was not effective and was associated with up-regulation of PDGF-A, while the VEGF remained suppressed. The combination of a PDGF-receptor inhibitor with IFN-α improved the effect of the re-initiated treatment.

Madsen CV, Steffensen KD, Olsen DA, et al.
Serum platelet-derived growth factor and fibroblast growth factor in patients with benign and malignant ovarian tumors.
Anticancer Res. 2012; 32(9):3817-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: New biological markers with predictive or prognostic value are highly warranted in the treatment of ovarian cancer. The platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) system and fibroblast growth factor (FGF) system are important components in tumor growth and angiogenesis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Pre-surgery peripheral blood samples were collected consecutively from 213 patients (42 with normal ovaries, 54 with benign, 21 with borderline, and 96 with malignant ovarian tumors) undergoing surgery for an untreated pelvic mass. Serum PDGF-AA, PDGF-BB, and FGF2 were quantified on a Luminex analyzer.
RESULTS: Median PDGF-AA, PDGF-BB, and FGF2 levels were higher in patients with ovarian cancer than in those with borderline tumors, and normal ovaries, and PDGF-BB and FGF2 were also higher as compared to patients with benign tumors. PDGF-AA and PDGF-BB were associated with FIGO stage and residual tumor and PDGF-BB was associated with histological subtype.
CONCLUSION: PDGF-AA, PDGF-BB, and FGF2 are up-regulated in ovarian cancer and levels of serum PDGF-AA and PDGF-BB seem to be associated with stage and residual tumor in ovarian cancer.

Tripurani SK, Cook RW, Eldin KW, Pangas SA
BMP-specific SMADs function as novel repressors of PDGFA and modulate its expression in ovarian granulosa cells and tumors.
Oncogene. 2013; 32(33):3877-85 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 11/08/2015 Related Publications
Platelet-derived growth factor alpha (PDGFA) is frequently upregulated in various cancers and thought to function as a key player in the development and progression of tumor growth by regulating aspects of cell proliferation, angiogenesis and metastasis. However, the mechanism by which it is upregulated is not fully understood. Previously, we demonstrated that conditional deletion of two transcription factors that signal for the bone morphogenetic proteins (Smad1 and Smad5) in ovarian granulosa cells causes metastatic granulosa cell tumors (GCTs) in female mice and phenocopies human juvenile GCTs (JGCTs). Smad1/5 double conditional knockout tumors, as well as human JGCTs, are highly vascularized, hemorrhagic and mitotically active. Expression analysis of these tumors and their metastases revealed a significant upregulation of key proliferation and pro-angiogenic factors such as Pdgfa, Pdgfb and Vegf. We examined whether these genes were direct targets of SMAD1 and SMAD5. Knockdown of SMAD1 and SMAD5 in mouse primary granulosa cells and a human GCT-derived cell line (COV434) resulted in upregulation of PDGFA, but not PDGFB nor VEGF. We identified several putative SMAD1/5-binding sites in the PDGFA promoter, and chromatin immunoprecipitation and reporter assays demonstrated that SMAD1/5 interact with the PDGFA promoter to regulate its activity. Further, SMAD1/5 antagonize the activity of the transcription factor Sp1, a well-known positive regulator of PDGFA, by inhibiting its occupancy at a key regulatory site on the proximal PDGFA promoter. Collectively, our studies establish that loss of SMAD1/5 leads to upregulation of PDGFA in ovarian granulosa cells, and that a novel regulatory interaction exists between the BR-SMADs and Sp1 in controlling PDGFA expression during granulosa cell tumorigenesis.

Gerber DE, Gupta P, Dellinger MT, et al.
Stromal platelet-derived growth factor receptor α (PDGFRα) provides a therapeutic target independent of tumor cell PDGFRα expression in lung cancer xenografts.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2012; 11(11):2473-82 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 11/08/2015 Related Publications
In lung cancer, platelet-derived growth factor receptor α (PDGFRα) is expressed frequently by tumor-associated stromal cells and by cancer cells in a subset of tumors. We sought to determine the effect of targeting stromal PDGFRα in preclinical lung tumor xenograft models (human tumor, mouse stroma). Effects of anti-human (IMC-3G3) and anti-mouse (1E10) PDGFRα monoclonal antibodies (mAb) on proliferation and PDGFRα signaling were evaluated in lung cancer cell lines and mouse fibroblasts. Therapy studies were conducted using established PDGFRα-positive H1703 cells and PDGFRα-negative Calu-6, H1993, and A549 subcutaneous tumors in immunocompromised mice treated with vehicle, anti-PDGFRα mAbs, chemotherapy, or combination therapy. Tumors were analyzed for growth and levels of growth factors. IMC-3G3 inhibited PDGFRα activation and the growth of H1703 cells in vitro and tumor growth in vivo, but had no effect on PDGFRα-negative cell lines or mouse fibroblasts. 1E10 inhibited growth and PDGFRα activation of mouse fibroblasts, but had no effect on human cancer cell lines in vitro. In vivo, 1E10-targeted inhibition of murine PDGFRα reduced tumor growth as single-agent therapy in Calu-6 cells and enhanced the effect of chemotherapy in xenografts derived from A549 cells. We also identified that low expression cancer cell expression of VEGF-A and elevated expression of PDGF-AA were associated with response to stromal PDGFRα targeting. We conclude that stromal PDGFRα inhibition represents a means for enhancing control of lung cancer growth in some cases, independent of tumor cell PDGFRα expression.

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