Altered expression of transforming growth factor-alpha: an early event in renal cell carcinoma development.
Transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-alpha) is a multifunctional cell regulatory protein with a wide range of effects on cell growth and differentiation and has been implicated in the neoplastic transformation of a variety of cell types. Altered expression of TGF-alpha and its cognate receptor (epidermal growth factor receptor) is enhanced in human and rat renal cell carcinomas. The objective of the study reported here was to determine whether altered TGF-alpha expression is an early or late event in renal tubular oncogenesis. The immunohistochemical expression of TGF-alpha was studied in preneoplastic renal tubular lesions in a rat model of hereditary renal cell carcinoma. Strong TGF-alpha immunoreactivity was present at all stages of renal cell tumor development, including the earliest detectable dysplasias. In contrast, the non-neoplastic regenerating tubular epithelium of rat degenerative nephropathy did not stain for TGF-alpha, although this tissue exhibited a proliferative capacity similar to that observed in the dysplastic and neoplastic lesions. This study indicated that altered TGF-alpha expression was detectable early in the development of renal cell tumors and may be an important feature of the transformed phenotype.
Everitt, JI; Walker, CL; Goldsworthy, TW; Wolf, DC
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