Autocrine stimulation of human mammary carcinoma cell proliferation by human growth hormone

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Published on Thursday, 09 May 2019

Abstract

Here we have investigated the role of autocrine production of human growth hormone (hGH) in the proliferation of mammary carcinoma cells (MCF-7) in vitro.

MCF-7 cells were stably transfected with an expression plasmid encoding the hGH gene, and these cells (designated MCF-hGH) synthesized hGH in the cell and secreted hGH to the medium.

For control purposes, a MCF cell line was generated (MCF-MUT) in which the start codon of the hGH gene was disabled, and these cells transcribed the hGH gene without translation to hGH protein.

The MCF-hGH cell number increased at a rate significantly greater than that of MCF-MUT under serum-free conditions. Autocrine hGH also synergized with 10% serum and insulin-like growth factor-1 but not 17-beta-estradiol to increase cell number. The increased proliferation of MCF-hGH cells in both serum-free and serum-containing media could be completely abrogated by the use of the nonreceptor dimerizing hGH antagonist, hGH-G120R. Increased mitogenesis as a consequence of autocrine production of hGH was prevented by inhibition of either the p38 MAPK or p42/44 MAPK pathways. MCF-hGH cells also possessed a higher level of STAT5 (but not STATs 1 and 3) mediated transcriptional activation in both serum-free and serum-containing conditions than MCF-MUT cells.

Thus we conclude that hGH can act in an autocrine/paracrine manner in human mammary carcinoma cells to promote cell proliferation and transcriptional activation.

 

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