Detalle Publicación

Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Signaling in Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Inflammatory Activation and a New Intracellular Regulatory Mechanism

Título de la revista: DIGESTIVE DISEASES
ISSN: 0257-2753
Volumen: 30
Número: 5
Páginas: 524-531
Fecha de publicación: 2012
Background/Aims: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a chemoresistant tumor strongly associated with chronic hepatitis. Identification of molecular links connecting inflammation with cell growth/survival, and characterization of pro-tumorigenic intracellular pathways is therefore of therapeutic interest. The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling system stands at a crossroad between inflammatory signals and intracellular pathways associated with hepatocarcinogenesis. We investigated the regulation and activity of different components of the EGFR system, including the EGFR ligand amphiregulin (AR) and its sheddase ADAM17, and the modulation of intracellular EGFR signaling by a novel mechanism involving protein methylation. Methods: ADAM17 protein expression was examined in models of liver injury and carcinogenesis. Crosstalk between tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, AR and EGFR signaling was evaluated in human HCC cells and mouse hepatocytes. Modulation of EGFR signaling and biological responses by methylation reactions was evaluated in AML12 mouse hepatocytes. Results: ADAM17 was upregulated in liver injury and hepatocarcinogenesis. TNF-alpha triggered AR shedding and EGFR transactivation in HCC cells. AR was necessary for TNF-alpha activation of ERK1/2 and Akt signaling in hepatocytes. Inhibition of methylation reactions increased the ERK1/2 signal amplitude triggered by AR/EGFR and reduced DNA synthesis in AML12 cells. Conclusions: Increased ADAM17 in preneoplastic liver injury further supports its implication in hepatocarcinogenesis. AR release and EGFR transactivation by TNF-alpha constitutes a novel link between inflammatory signals and pro-tumorigenic mechanisms in liver cells. Finally, the identification of a new mechanism controlling growth factor signaling, and biological responses, involving methylation reactions within the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK pathway, exposes a new target for antineoplastic intervention. Copyright (C) 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel