Hyperactive autocrine loop mediated by a NDF-related factor in neoplastic hamster embryo fibroblasts expressing an activated cph oncogene

M. A. Avila, J. A. Velasco, C. Cho, R. Lupu, D. Wen, V. Notario

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26 Scopus citations


We described previously the characterization of a novel oncogene, cph, activated in primary Syrian hamster embryo fibroblasts by exposure to 3-methylcholanthrene. The present report describes the participation in the neoplastic conversion of cph-expressing (81C39) hamster fibroblasts of a hyperactive autocrine loop involving a new differentiation factor [NDP]-like protein. The tyrosine phosphorylation of the p185(erbB-2) receptor in the human breast carcinoma MDA-MB-453 cells was stimulated by conditioned medium from neoplastic 81C39 cells. The extent of this stimulatory effect was much greater than that induced by conditioned medium from normal 84-3 hamster cells. The p185(erbB-2) tyrosine phosphorylation-stimulating activity was partially blocked by the heparin analogue pentosan polysulfate [PPS], a known antagonist of p185(erbB-2) ligands, and was partially purified from 81C39 conditioned medium by heparin-Se-pharose chromatography. The level of p185(erbB-2) tyrosine phosphorylation-stimulating activity in the heparin-Se-pharose fractions correlated directly with their content in NDP-like protein as immunodetected with an anti-rat NDF antibody. Consistently, the steady-state level of NDF-related mRNA was found to be four times greater in neoplastic 81C39 cells than in normal 84-3 cells. However, the levels of erbB-2 mRNA were similar in both cell types, while the expression of erbB-4 mRNA was upregulated in the neoplastic fibroblasts. The ability of 81C39 conditioned medium to stimulate protein tyrosine phosphorylation and to induce other PPS-sensitive growth responses on 81C39 cells themselves suggested the involvement of an autocrine loop in their neoplastic conversion. The participation of a NDF-related factor in this autocrine loop was confirmed by the ability of an anti-NDF antibody to block the mitogenic activity present in their own conditioned medium. The involvement of the cph oncogene in the upregulation of NDF-related expression was evidenced when cph-transformed NIH3T3 fibroblasts showed elevated levels of NDF-related mRNA, and their conditioned medium induced tyrosine phosphorylation on MDA-MB-453 cells, reproducing the effect of the medium from 81C39 hamster cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)963-971
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1995


  • Cell proliferation
  • Mitogenic factors
  • Neoplastic conversion
  • cph transformation
  • erbB-2 tyrosine kinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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