Expression in rat fibroblasts of a human transforming growth factor-alpha cDNA results in transformation

Cell. 1986 Jul 18;46(2):301-9. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(86)90747-6.


Acquisition of the ability to produce and respond to a growth factor may result in increased cellular proliferation and could lead to malignant transformation. The fact that a large variety of tumor cells secrete transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-alpha) suggests involvement of TGF-alpha in cellular transformation and provides supporting evidence for the autocrine stimulation model. In order to determine directly the role of TGF-alpha in tumorigenicity, we introduced a human TGF-alpha cDNA expression vector into established nontransformed Fischer rat fibroblast (Rat-1) cells. Synthesis and secretion of human TGF-alpha by these cells results in the loss of anchorage-dependent growth and induces tumor formation in nude mice. Anti-human TGF-alpha monoclonal antibodies prevent TGF-alpha expressing Rat-1 cells from forming colonies in soft agar.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism*
  • DNA / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Growth Substances / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasm Proteins / physiology
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Peptides / physiology*
  • Phenotype
  • Rats
  • Transforming Growth Factors


  • Growth Substances
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Peptides
  • Transforming Growth Factors
  • DNA