Cancer Biology

Bad Neighbors?

Science's STKE  10 Feb 2004:
Vol. 2004, Issue 219, pp. tw48
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2192004TW48

The most common forms of cancer arise through uncontrolled proliferation of epithelial cells. Although the growth of these cells is driven by their accumulation of genetic alterations, there is increasing evidence, largely derived from tissue culture studies, that tumor cell behavior is also regulated by surrounding stromal cells. Using a targeted gene inactivation strategy in mice, Bhowmick et al. (see the Perspective by Radisky and Bissell) show that loss of transforming growth factor-β signaling in fibroblasts causes neoplastic progression of neighboring epithelial cells in the prostate and stomach. This effect appears to arise in part due to increased production of hepatocyte growth factor by the genetically altered fibroblasts.

N. A. Bhowmick, A. Chytil, D. Plieth, A. E. Gorska, N. Dumont, S. Shappell, M. K. Washington, E. G. Neilson, H. L. Moses, TGF-β signaling in fibroblasts modulates the oncogenic potential of adjacent epithelia. Science 303, 848-851 (2004). [Abstract] [Full Text]

D. C. Radisky, M. J. Bissell, Respect thy neighbor! Science 303, 775-777 (2004). [Summary] [Full Text]