Eph receptors are a subfamily of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), that are activated by ephrin ligands and appear to play important roles in axon guidance and cell migration during development of the nervous system. Over-expression or constitutive activation of Eph receptors has been linked with increased proliferation in various tumours. We have recently described lineage aberrant expression of EphA5 in primary human astrocytomas, glioblastomas and in the human glioblastoma U-118 MG cell line. A role for EphA5 expression in these tumours is not apparent, and we have investigated the cellular effects of EphA5 activation using the human glioblastoma U-118 MG cell line as a model. Immunofluorescent staining demonstrated cell surface expression of EphA5. Activation of the EphA5 receptor using an ephrin-A1 recombinant fusion protein resulted in tyrosine phosphorylation of EphA5 in a time-dependent manner. Exposure of U-118 MG glioblastoma cells to ephrin-A1 did not result in significant spontaneous or FCS-stimulated cell proliferation, though a marginal decrease was observed. This is in converse to the effects of Eph activation in other tumour cell lines, and is the first study to investigate EphA5 in glioblastoma cell lines.
Copyright 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.