The epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor is overexpressed in human pancreatic cancers and cultured cell lines. TP40 is a chimeric protein composed of transforming growth factor-α (TGF-α) linked to a modified Pseudomonas exotoxin A (PE40) that exerts growth inhibitory effects on cells bearing a high number of EGF receptors. Therefore, we compared the effect of TP40 on the growth of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells expressing varying levels of the EGF receptor and on the growth of two human pancreatic cancer cell lines. The growth of CHO cells devoid of endogenous EGF receptors was minimally altered by high concentrations of TP40, even following a 72-h incubation period. In contrast, in CHO cells expressing ~95,000 and 438,000 EGF receptors per cell, one-half maximal growth inhibition occurred at 5 and 3 ng/ml TP40, respectively. Following a 72-h incubation in T3M4 and COLO 357 human pancreatic cancer cells, one-half maximal growth inhibition occurred at 0.2 and 0.4 ng/ml TP40, respectively. This effect was significantly greater than that of native Pseudomonas exotoxin A. These findings indicate that human pancreatic cancer cells are markedly sensitive to the growth inhibitory effects of TP40 and raise the possibility that TP40 may have a therapeutic role in this disorder.
- Epidermal growth factor receptor
- Growth inhibition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism