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Fibroblast growth factor receptors are components of autocrine signaling networks in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells.


ABSTRACT: We previously reported that a fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptor (FGFR) signaling pathway drives growth of lung cancer cell lines of squamous and large cell histologies. Herein, we explored FGFR dependency in cell lines derived from the tobacco-related malignancy, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).FGF and FGFR mRNA and protein expression was assessed in nine HNSCC cell lines. Dependence on secreted FGF2 for cell growth was tested with FP-1039, an FGFR1-Fc fusion protein. FGFR and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) dependence was defined by sensitivity to multiple inhibitors selective for FGFRs or EGFR.FGF2 was expressed in eight of the nine HNSCC cell lines examined. Also, FGFR2 and FGFR3 were frequently expressed, whereas only two lines expressed FGFR1. FP-1039 inhibited growth of HNSCC cell lines expressing FGF2, identifying FGF2 as an autocrine growth factor. FGFR inhibitors selectively reduced in vitro growth and extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling in three HNSCC cell lines, whereas three distinct lines exhibited responsiveness to both EGFR and FGFR inhibitors. Combinations of these drugs yielded additive growth inhibition. Finally, three cell lines were highly sensitive to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) with no contribution from FGFR pathways.FGFR signaling was dominant or codominant with EGFR in six HNSCC lines, whereas three lines exhibited little or no role for FGFRs and were highly EGFR dependent. Thus, the HNSCC cell lines can be divided into subsets defined by sensitivity to EGFR and FGFR-specific TKIs. FGFR inhibitors may represent novel therapeutics to deploy alone or in combination with EGFR inhibitors in HNSCC.

SUBMITTER: Marshall ME 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3149730 | BioStudies | 2011-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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