Amphiregulin and hepatocyte-derived extracellular matrix regulate proliferation and autocrine growth factor expression in colon cancer cell lines of varying liver-colonizing capability

Isabel Zvibel, Shlomo Brill, Zamir Halpern, Moshe Papa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We studied the effect of two members of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) family - amphiregulin and heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor (HB-EGF) - on cell proliferation, growth factor and growth factor receptor expression, and cell differentiation in two human colon cell lines of varying liver-colonizing potential. The effect of amphiregulin and HB-EGF was assessed both in cells grown on plastic, as well as on cells grown on hepatocyte-derived extracellular matrix (ECM). We found that both colon cell lines were sensitive to HB-EGF stimulation of cell proliferation. Amphiregulin inhibited cell proliferation in KM12 cells and stimulated the strongly metastatic cell line KM12SM to a slight extent. When the cells were cultured on hepatocyte-derived ECM, amphiregulin inhibited the weakly metastatic KM12 and stimulated the growth of KM12SM. HB-EGF synergistically acted with hepatocyte-derived ECM to enhance cell proliferation in both colon cell lines. Expression of ligands of the EGF family, such as transforming growth factor-α (TGF-α) and amphiregulin, was decreased in both cell lines when cultured on ECM. Hepatocyte- derived ECM decreased expression of cripto in KM12 and increased it in KM12SM cells. Neither cripto nor TGF-α mRNA levels was affected by growing the cells in the presence of amphiregulin. However, amphiregulin increased expression of its own mRNA in the weakly metastatic KM12 and decreased it in the strongly metastatic KM12SM when the cells were cultured on plastic. Amphiregulin and HB-EGF stimulated expression of erb-B2 in both cell lines cultured on plastic. Surprisingly, when the cells were grown on hepatocyte-derived ECM, amphiregulin inhibited erb-B2 expression in both cell lines. We observed no effect of amphiregulin on cell differentiation as assessed by alkaline phosphatase expression. Our studies demonstrate one mechanism that could play a role in site-specific metastasis. We found an inhibitory response to an autocrine growth factor in the context of hepatocyte-derived ECM in a weakly metastatic cell and a stimulatory effect of the same growth factor when strongly metastatic cells were cultured on the same ECM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-340
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Volume76
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2000
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Amphiregulin
  • Colon cancer
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Hepatocytes

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