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

Gastrointestinal peptide signalling in health and disease.

Gastrointestinal peptides including mammalian bombesin-like peptides, cholecystokinin ( CCK), gastrin, and neurotensin stimulate DNA synthesis and cell proliferation in cultured cells and are implicated as growth factors in a number of fundamental processes including development, inflammation, tissue regeneration, and neoplastic transformation. These agonists bind to G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that promote Galpha q-mediated activation of beta isoforms of phospholipase C to produce two second messengers: Inositol (1,4,5) trisphosphate {Ins (1, 4, 5) P3} that mobilises Ca2+ from internal stores, and diacylglycerol that activates the classic and new isoforms of the protein kinase C (PKC) family. PKCs play a critical part in transducing bombesin/ gastrin releasing peptide (GRP) receptor signals into activation of protein kinase cascades. Protein kinase D (PKD), a serine/threonine protein kinase with distinct structural and enzymological properties, is activated by phosphorylation in living cells through a new PKC-dependent signal transduction pathway. GPCR agonists including bombesin/ GRP induce a rapid and striking activation of PKD by PKC. These results indicate that PKD functions downstream from PKCs and identify a new phosphorylation cascade that is activated by gastrointestinal peptide agonists. The bombesin/ GRP GPCR also promotes rapid Rho-dependent assembly of focal adhesions, formation of actin stress fibres and tyrosine phosphorylation of multiple cellular proteins. We identified p125 focal adhesion kinase ( FAK), p130 Crk- associated substrate ( CAS) and paxillin as prominent targets of gastrointestinal peptide- stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation and developed a model that envisages a G12/Rho-dependent pathway connecting GPCR activation to the tyrosine phosphorylation of these focal adhesion proteins. Separate pathways mediate gastrointestinal peptide stimulation of additional tyrosine kinase pathways including transactivation of Src and epidermal growth factor receptor ( EGFR). Tyrosine phosphorylation has a critical role in gastrointestinal peptide-induced cellular migration and cooperates with Gq-stimulated events to promote mitogenesis. The growth-promoting effects of neuropeptides and the elucidation of the signalling pathways that mediate their effects assume an added importance because these agonists and their receptors are increasingly implicated in sustaining the proliferation of clinically aggressive solid tumours including those from lung, pancreas, and colon.[1]


  1. Gastrointestinal peptide signalling in health and disease. Rozengurt, E., Guha, S., Sinnett-Smith, J. The European journal of surgery. Supplement. : = Acta chirurgica. Supplement. (2002) [Pubmed]
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