Expression of transforming growth factor beta-1 in gastric cancer and in the gastric mucosa of first-degree relatives of patients with gastric cancer


Transforming growth factors beta (TGF-β) constitute a family of polypeptide growth factors that control cell growth, cell differentiation and migration, as well as the formation of the extracellular matrix. Recent analyses revealed the overexpression of TGF-β1 in human gastric cancers and demonstrated increased cell proliferation in the stomach of patients with gastric cancer and their first-degree relatives. Using human gastric tissues obtained from patients with gastric cancer (n = 19), biopsies from healthy first-degree relatives of gastric cancer patients (n = 18) and healthy individuals (n = 19), we analysed the expression of TGF-β1 using the reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry. Fifteen of 19 patients with gastric cancer expressed TGF-β1 in the tumour. In 11 of these 15 cases TGF-β1 mRNA was also detectable in the non-tumourous stomach. Interestingly, all but two individuals with a first-degree relative diagnosed with gastric cancer exhibited TGF-β1 expression in either the antrum or corpus biopsy or both. In contrast, only one of 19 individuals without a family history of gastric cancer expressed TGF-β1 in the stomach (P< 0.0001). TGF-β1 expression is detectable in a large proportion of gastric cancers and in the stomach of healthy first-degree relatives of gastric cancer patients. Since individuals without gastric cancers in their family express TGF-β1 only in one of 19 cases, the induction of TGF-β1 expression in first-degree relatives of patients with gastric cancer points to the presence of specific molecular alterations in a subgroup of individuals with an increased risk of developing gastric cancer that may precede the development of gastric cancers. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign

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Ebert, M., Yu, J., Miehlke, S. et al. Expression of transforming growth factor beta-1 in gastric cancer and in the gastric mucosa of first-degree relatives of patients with gastric cancer. Br J Cancer 82, 1795–1800 (2000).

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  • risk
  • screening
  • carcinogenesis
  • stomach
  • family

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