Differential expression of transforming growth factors-β1, -β2 and -β3 in human colon carcinoma

G. Bellone, A. Carbone, D. Tibaudi, F. Mauri, I. Ferrero, C. Smirne, F. Suman, C. Rivetti, G. Migliaretti, M. Camandona, G. Palestro, G. Emanuelli, U. Rodeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β is a protein family which affects multiple cellular functions including survival, proliferation, differentiation and adhesion. Among the three known isoforms, TGF-β1 is commonly overexpressed in solid malignancies. Recent studies in knock-out mice demonstrated non-redundant roles of different TGF-β isoforms in development. The present study was performed to assess tumour-associated expression of the three TGF-β isoforms in colon carcinoma. We report that colon carcinoma progression is associated with gradual and significant increases in expression of TGF-β1 and TGF-β2 mRNA and proteins. By contrast, TGF-β3 expression was detected in normal colonic mucosa and, at slightly higher levels, in tumour tissues. In addition, plasma levels of both TGF-β1 and TGF-β2 were significantly higher in cancer patients when compared with unaffected individuals. Taken together, our results indicate distinct expression patterns of the three TGF-β isoforms in colon carcinoma cells and possible systemic effects of TGF-β1 and TGF-β2 in tumour patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-233
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Colon carcinoma
  • Transforming growth factor-β
  • Tumour progression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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