Modulation of apoptosis may influence sarcoma pathogenesis and/or aggressiveness. The Fas death pathway, mediated by FasL or TGFβ, is one of two apoptotic pathways. Recent studies report that EGF can modulate TGFβ and/or FasL expression/activity; thus, EGF has the potential to influence activation of the Fas pathway. EGF is not always detectable in mesenchymal tumors; therefore, we hypothesized EGF would define which Fas ligand predominates. We assayed 57 surgically removed human sarcomas for 10 genes involved in the Fas pathway. Skeletal muscle biopsies from eight patients served as controls. Sample transcripts were detected by real-time RT-PCR. We attempted to identify relevant predictor variables. The 57 sarcomas were segregated into two categories defined by EGF mRNA content: (1) 23 tumors with EGF concentrations that approximated muscle EGF transcript levels (high-EGF tumors); and (2) 34 tumors that either lacked EGF mRNA, or whose mRNA levels were very low and frequently undetected by PCR (low-EGF tumors). TGFβ1 expression best predicted Fas transcript concentrations in the 34 low-EGF sarcomas, while FasL predicted Fas mRNA levels in the remaining 23 high-EGF sarcomas. The results suggest ligand activity in the Fas death pathway correlates with EGF transcription in sarcomas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine