Expression of TGF-beta related Smad proteins in human epithelial skin tumors.
- D Lange
- U Persson
- U Wollina
- P ten Dijke
- E Castelli
- C H Heldin
- K Funa
Affiliations: Department of Dermatology, Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena, Jena, Germany.
- Published online on: June 1, 1999 https://doi.org/10.3892/ijo.14.6.1049
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Members of the transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta family regulate cell growth and differentiation activating intracellular Smad proteins. Their role in skin and skin tumorigenesis is not well understood. Therefore we investigated the expression of TGF-beta type I receptor (TbetaR-I) and Smad-proteins involved in the TGF-beta-pathway, e.g. Smad2, Smad3, Smad4, Smad6 and Smad7. We examined the effects of TGF-beta1, -beta2, BMP2, BMP7 on five epithelial cell lines in vitro. TGF-beta1-mediated growth inhibition of HaCaT and HSC4 were observed with half maximal effects at approximately 7 pg ml-1 and 20 pg ml-1, respectively. However, malignant HSC2 and A431 cells were unresponsive to TGF-beta1. A differentiation was seen after 5 days in HaCaT and HSC4 cells only. We compared the reactivity with specific antisera against TbetaR-I and Smad proteins among the different skin tumors: seborrheic keratoses (SK), actinic keratoses (AK), basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). There were statistically significant differences of the ratio between the expression in tumor and that in non-tumorous epithelial cells in each tissue specimen. There was a tendency for the lower level of TbetaR-I expression of SCC compared with SK (p=0.08). This was accompanied by the decreased expression of the TbetaR-I. We found a markedly decreased expression of all antigens in BCC. conversion of normal keratinocytes to tumorigenic cells may in part be due to an acquisition of resistance to TGF-beta and loss of expression of intracellular signalling Smad proteins.