IMR Press / FBL / Volume 6 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.2741/normano

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
The role of EGF-related peptides in tumor growth
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1 Oncologia Sperimentale D, ITN-Fondazione Pascale, 80131 Napoli, Italy
2 Tumor Growth Factor Section, LTIB, NCI, NIH, 20892, Bethesda MD, USA

Academic Editor: Antonio Giordano

Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2001, 6(3), 685–707; https://doi.org/10.2741/normano
Published: 1 May 2001
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene targets for modulating cell growth)
Abstract

The epidermal growth factor (EGF) family of peptides encodes several proteins that can function as growth factors. The EGF-like peptides, with the exception of proteins of the EGF-CFC subfamily, bind and activate tyrosine kinase receptors that belong to the erbB family. The EGF-like peptides are overexpressed in a majority of human carcinomas as compared with their nontransformed counterpart. By using different approaches, it has been shown that several different EGF-like peptides function as autocrine growth factors in carcinoma cell lines of different histological origin. Direct evidence that the EGF-like growth factors might function as transforming genes has been provided by in vitro and in vivo studies. In particular, the development of different transgenic mouse lines in which EGF-like growth factors have been overexpressed by means of tissue-specific or nonspecific promoters has provided invaluable information relating to their ability to function as dominantly transforming oncogenes. Cooperation of the EGF-like peptides with cellular protooncogenes in determining cell transformation has been demonstrated by using both in vitro and transgenic mice systems. Taken together, these data strongly suggest that the EGF-like peptides are involved in the pathogenesis of human carcinomas, and that they might represent suitable targets for novel therapeutic approaches.

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