PDGF family function and prognostic value in tumor biology

Michael Bartoschek, Kristian Pietras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development and progression of a tumor depends on the close interaction of malignant cells and the supportive and suppressive tumor microenvironment. Paracrine signaling enables tumor cells to shape the surrounding tissue in order to decrease recognition by the immune system, attract blood vessels to fuel growth, change metabolic programs, and induce wound healing programs. In this study, we investigate the role of the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) family members PDGFA, PDGFB, PDGFC and PDGFD and their cognate tyrosine kinase receptors PDGFRA and PDGFRB, using publicly available data from The Cancer Genome Atlas and the Human Protein Atlas. Large scale analysis of expression correlation in RNA sequencing data from 7616 samples derived from 16 tumor types, revealed conserved functional programs in PDGF signaling in the majority of solid tumor types. Besides the well-known effects of PDGF signaling in mesenchymal cells, our analyses revealed a potential role of PDGF signaling in the composition of the immune microenvironment. We furthermore derived gene signatures with increased prognostic value for each PDGF family member. This study emphasizes the potential to impinge on specific paracrine signaling events to interfere with the crosstalk between malignant cells and their microenvironment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)984-990
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
Early online date2018 Jun 23
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cell and Molecular Biology

Free keywords

  • Cancer
  • Expression analysis
  • Platelet-derived growth factor


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