Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays a critical role in cancer metastasis, and is regulated by growth factors such as transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) and fibroblast growth factors (FGF) secreted from the stromal and tumor cells. However, the role of growth factors in EMT has not been fully established. Several integrins are upregulated by TGF-β1 during EMT. Integrins are involved in growth factor signaling through integrin-growth factor receptor crosstalk. We previously reported that FGF1 directly binds to integrin ανβ3 and the interaction was required for FGF1 functions such as cell proliferation and migration.We studied the role of ανβ3 induced by TGF-β on TGF-β-induced EMT. Here, we describe that FGF1 augmented EMT induced by TGF-β1 in MCF10A and MCF12A mammary epithelial cells. TGF-β1 markedly amplified integrin ανβ3 and FGFR1 (but not FGFR2). We studied if the enhancing effect of FGF1 on TGF-β1-induced EMT requires enhanced levels of both integrin ανβ3 expression and FGFR1. Knockdown of β3 suppressed the enhancement by FGF1 of TGF-β1-induced EMT in MCF10A cells. Antagonists to FGFR suppressed the enhancing effect of FGF1 on EMT. Integrin-binding defective FGF1 mutant did not augment TGF-β1-induced EMT in MCF10A cells. These findings suggest that enhanced integrin ανβ3 expression in addition to enhanced FGFR1 expression is critical for FGF1 to augment TGF-β1-induced EMT in mammary epithelial cells. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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