The K-fgf/hst oncogene encodes a secreted growth factor of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family. The ability of K-fgf-transformed cells to grow in soft agar and in serum-free medium is inhibited by anti-K-FGF neutralizing antibodies, consistent with an autocrine mechanism of transformation. The transformed properties of clones that express high levels of K-FGF are, however, only partially affected. To better define the autocrine mechanism of transformation by K-fgf and to determine whether receptor activation could occur intracellularly, we constructed two mutants of the K-fgf cDNA. Deletion of the sequences encoding the signal peptide suppressed K-fgf ability to induce foci in NIH 3T3 cells. A few morphologically transformed colonies were observed in cotransfection experiments, and they were found to express high levels of cytoplasmic K-FGF. However, their ability to grow in serum-free medium and in soft agar was inhibited by anti-K-FGF antibodies. Addition of a sequence encoding the KELU endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi retention signal to the K-fgf cDNA led to accumulation of the growth factor in intracellular compartments. The ability of the KELU mutant to induce foci in NIH 3T3 cells was much lower than that of the wild-type cDNA, and also in this case the transformed phenotype was reverted by anti-K-FGF antibodies. These and other findings indicate that the transformed phenotype of cells expressing a nonsecretory K-FGF is due to the extracellular activation of the receptor by the small amounts of growth factor that these cells still release. Thus, transformation by K-fgf appears to be due to an autocrine growth mechanism that requires activation of the mitogenic pathway at the cell surface.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Molecular and Cellular Biology|
|Publication status||Published - 1991|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology
- Molecular Biology