Human breast cancer-associated fibroblasts enhance cancer cell proliferation through increased TGF-α cleavage by ADAM17

Ming Qing Gao, Baek Gil Kim, Suki Kang, Yoon Pyo Choi, Joo Heon Yoon, Namhoon Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate here increased expression of ADAM17 protein in cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) extracted from human breast carcinomas compared with donor-matched normal fibroblasts, and TGF-α secretion positively correlates with ADAM17 expression in these cells. In SK-BR-3 cells co-cultured with CAFs, CAF-secreted TGF-α promotes cell proliferation by activation of EGFR, Akt, and ERK, but it does not promote cell migration. Furthermore, anti-TGF-α neutralizing antibodies antagonize the CAF-dependent increase in proliferation and activation of EGFR, Akt and ERK. Thus, pharmacologic inhibition of ADAM17 and TGF-α may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of breast cancer when fibroblast-directed therapy is considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-246
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Aug 9


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Cite this