Fibroblast growth factor-2 mediates transforming growth factor-beta action in prostate cancer reactive stroma

Oncogene. 2008 Jan 17;27(4):450-9. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1210663. Epub 2007 Jul 16.


Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) is overexpressed at sites of wound repair and in most adenocarcinomas including prostate cancer. In stromal tissues, TGF-beta regulates cell proliferation, phenotype and matrix synthesis. To address mechanisms of TGF-beta action in cancer-associated reactive stroma, we developed prostate stromal cells null for TGF-beta receptor II (TbetaRII) or engineered to express a dominant-negative Smad3 to attenuate TGF-beta signaling. The differential reactive stroma (DRS) xenograft model was used to evaluate altered stromal TGF-beta signaling on LNCaP tumor progression. LNCaP xenograft tumors constructed with TbetaRII null or dominant-negative Smad3 stromal cells exhibited a significant reduction in mass and microvessel density relative to controls. Additionally, decreased cellular fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) immunostaining was associated with attenuated TGF-beta signaling in stroma. In vitro, TGF-beta stimulated stromal FGF-2 expression and release. However, stromal cells with attenuated TGF-beta signaling were refractory to TGF-beta-stimulated FGF-2 expression and release. Re-expression of FGF-2 in these stromal cells in DRS xenografts resulted in restored tumor mass and microvessel density. In summary, these data show that TGF-beta signaling in reactive stroma is angiogenic and tumor promoting and that this effect is mediated in part through a TbetaRII/Smad3-dependent upregulation of FGF-2 expression and release.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma / genetics
  • Carcinoma / metabolism
  • Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / genetics
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / metabolism
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Receptor, Transforming Growth Factor-beta Type II
  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Stromal Cells / metabolism
  • Stromal Cells / pathology*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / pharmacology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology*
  • Transplantation, Heterologous
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Receptor, Transforming Growth Factor-beta Type II