Down-regulation of overexpressed sp1 protein in human fibrosarcoma cell lines inhibits tumor formation
Sp1 is a transcription factor for many genes, including genes involved in tumorigenesis. We found that human fibroblast cells malignantly transformed in culture by a carcinogen or by stable transfection of an oncogene express Sp1 at 8-fold to 18-fold higher levels than their parental cells. These cell lines form fibrosarcomas in athymic mice with a very short latency, and the cells from the tumors express the same high levels of Sp1. Similar high levels of Sp1 were found in the patient-derived
... he patient-derived fibrosarcoma cell lines tested, and in the tumors formed in athymic mice by these cell lines. To investigate the role of overexpression of Sp1 in malignant transformation of human fibroblasts, we transfected an Sp1 U1snRNA/Ribozyme into two human cell lines, malignantly transformed in culture by a carcinogen or overexpression of an oncogene, and into a patient-derived fibrosarcoma cell line. The level of expression of Sp1 in these transfected cell lines was reduced to near normal. The cells regained the spindle-shaped morphology and exhibited increased apoptosis and decreased expression of several genes linked to cancer, i.e., epithelial growth factor receptor, urokinase plasminogen activator, urokinase plasminogen activator receptor, and vascular endothelial growth factor. When injected into athymic mice, these cell lines with near normal levels of Sp1 failed to form tumors or did so only at a greatly reduced frequency and with a much longer latency. These data indicate that overexpression of Sp1 plays a causal role in malignant transformation of human fibroblasts and suggest that for cancers in which it is overexpressed, Sp1 constitutes a target for therapy.