Author(s): Soufla G, Sifakis S, Baritaki S, Zafiropoulos A, Koumantakis E,
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Abstract Angiogenesis is a complex procedure induced by the secretion of numerous growth factors from endothelial cells. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), basic fibroblastic growth factor (FGF2), transforming growth factor-beta1, 2, 3 (TGFB1, 2, 3), and transforming growth factor-beta receptors (TGFBR1, 2, 3) mRNA expression pattern was evaluated in tissue samples with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and cervical cancer, compared to that of normal cervical tissues, and correlated to the clinical stage of the disease. Transcript levels of the above genes were assessed by RT-PCR analysis in a total of 44 cervical specimens. VEGF, TGFB1, TGFBR1, and FGF2 transcript levels were significantly different in the normal, CIN and cancer specimen groups (P=0.015, 0.001, 0.008, and 0.029, respectively). Higher TGFBR1 mRNA levels were observed in parallel with increased severity of the lesion, whereas FGF2 exhibited lower transcript levels. A highly significant increase of VEGF mRNA expression was found upon cervical neoplastic transformation (P<0.0001). High-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions exhibited higher VEGF mRNA levels than low-grade lesions (P=0.039). TGFBR1 and TGFBR3 receptors demonstrated significant co-expressions with TGFB2 (P<0.0001), and TGFB1 (P=0.005 and 0.002, respectively) in normal cervical specimens. However, a disruption of co-expression patterns was observed in the groups of CIN and cancer cases, compared to normal tissues. Our findings show that VEGF, FGF2, TGFB1 and TGFBR1 mRNA expression levels correlate with the malignant transformation of the uterine cervix. The involvement of the examined markers in cervical carcinogenesis is furthermore supported by the observed disruption of their mRNA co-expression patterns.
This article was published in Cancer Lett
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy