Evidence that transforming growth factor-beta is a hormonally regulated negative growth factor in human breast cancer cells

Cell. 1987 Feb 13;48(3):417-28. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(87)90193-0.


The hormone-dependent human breast cancer cell line MCF-7 secretes transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), which can be detected in the culture medium in a biologically active form. These polypeptides compete with human platelet-derived TGF-beta for binding to its receptor, are biologically active in TGF-beta-specific growth assays, and are recognized and inactivated by TGF-beta-specific antibodies. Secretion of active TGF-beta is induced 8 to 27-fold under treatment of MCF-7 cells with growth inhibitory concentrations of antiestrogens. Antiestrogen-induced TGF-beta from MCF-7 cells inhibits the growth of an estrogen receptor-negative human breast cancer cell line in coculture experiments; growth inhibition is reversed with anti-TGF-beta antibodies. We conclude that in MCF-7 cells, TGF-beta is a hormonally regulated growth inhibitor with possible autocrine and paracrine functions in breast cancer cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Estrogen Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Growth Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Peptides / metabolism*
  • Peptides / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Transforming Growth Factors


  • Estrogen Antagonists
  • Growth Inhibitors
  • Peptides
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Transforming Growth Factors