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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Gastrin promotes human colon cancer cell growth via CCK-2 receptor- mediated cyclooxygenase-2 induction and prostaglandin E2 production.

The present study investigates the effects of gastrin-17 on human colon cancer HT-29 cells to examine whether gastrin receptor (CCK-2), cyclooxygenase ( COX-1, COX-2) isoforms and prostaglandin receptor pathways interact to control cell growth. Reverse transcription (RT)-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis demonstrated that HT-29 cells are endowed with the naive expression of CCK-2 receptor (short splice variant), COX-1, COX-2 and prostaglandin EP(4) receptor, but not gastrin. Gastrin-17 significantly promoted cell growth and DNA synthesis. Both these stimulating effects were abolished by L-365,260 or GV150013 (CCK-2 receptor antagonists), but were unaffected by SC-560 ( COX-1 inhibitor). L-745,337 ( COX-2 inhibitor) or AH-23848B (EP(4) receptor antagonist) partly reversed gastrin-17-induced cell growth, while they fully antagonized the enhancing action on DNA synthesis. HT-29 cells responded to gastrin-17 with a significant increase in prostaglandin E(2) release. This enhancing effect was completely counteracted by L-365,260, GV150013 or L-745,337, while it was insensitive to cell incubation with SC-560. Exposure of HT-29 cells to gastrin-17 was followed by an increased phosphorylation of both extracellular regulated kinases (ERK-1/ERK-2) and Akt. Moreover, gastrin-17 enhanced the transcriptional activity of COX-2 gene promoter and stimulated COX-2 expression. These latter effects were antagonized by L-365,260 or GV150013, and could be blocked also by PD98059 (inhibitor of ERK-1/ERK-2 phosphorylation) or wortmannin (inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase). Analogously, gastrin-17-induced prostaglandin E(2) release was prevented by PD98059 or wortmannin. The present results suggest that (a) in human colon cancer cells endowed with CCK-2 receptors, gastrin-17 is able to enhance the transcriptional activity of COX-2 gene through the activation of ERK-1/ERK-2- and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt-dependent pathways; (b) these stimulant actions lead to downstream increments of COX-2 expression, followed by prostaglandin E(2) production and EP(4) receptor activation; (c) the recruitment of COX-2/prostaglandin pathways contributes to the growth-promoting actions exerted by gastrin-17.[1]


  1. Gastrin promotes human colon cancer cell growth via CCK-2 receptor-mediated cyclooxygenase-2 induction and prostaglandin E2 production. Colucci, R., Blandizzi, C., Tanini, M., Vassalle, C., Breschi, M.C., Del Tacca, M. Br. J. Pharmacol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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