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

Neuropeptides B and W enhance the growth of human adrenocortical carcinoma-derived NCI-H295 cells by exerting MAPK p42/ p44-mediated proliferogenic and antiapoptotic effects.

Neuropeptides B and W (NPB and NPW) are endogenous ligands of two G protein-coupled receptors, named GPR7 and GPR8. GPR7 and GPR8 are expressed in the adrenal cortex, and there is evidence that NPB and NPW stimulate glucocorticoid secretion from human adrenocortical cells by activating protein kinase (PK) A and PKC signaling. To gain insight into the role of NPB and NPW in human adrenal functional regulation, we have investigated their effects on the secretion and growth of the human adrenocortical carcinoma-derived NCI-H295 cell line. NCI-H295 cells were found to express both GPR7 and GPR8 mRNAs, but neither NPB nor NPW (up to 10(-6) M) affected their secretory activity. In contrast, both peptides (from 10(-10) to 10(-6) M) enhanced the growth of NCI-H295 cells, by raising their proliferative activity and lowering their apoptotic deletion rate. NPB and NPW (10(-6) M) stimulated tyrosine kinase (TK) and mitogen- activated PK (MAPK) p42/ p44 activities in NCI-H295 cells. Both these effects were blocked by the TK inhibitor tyrphostin-23, while the MAPK p42/ p44 inhibitor PD-98059 annulled only MAPK p42/ p44 activation. The growth-stimulating effect of 10(-6) M NPB and NPW were not affected by either the PKA and PKC inhibitors H-89 and calphostin-C or the MAPK p38 antagonist SB-293580, but were abolished by both tyrphostin-23 and PD-98059. Taken together, our findings allow us to conclude that GPR7 and GPR8 expressed in NCI-H295 cells: i) are, at variance with those present in normal human adrenocortical cells, uncoupled to PKA- and PKC-dependent cascades, thereby explaining the absence of any secretory response to NPB and NPW; and ii) are coupled to the TK-dependent MAPK p42/ p44 signaling, whose activation mediates the proliferogenic and antiapoptotic effect of NPB and NPW.[1]


  1. Neuropeptides B and W enhance the growth of human adrenocortical carcinoma-derived NCI-H295 cells by exerting MAPK p42/p44-mediated proliferogenic and antiapoptotic effects. Andreis, P.G., Rucinski, M., Neri, G., Conconi, M.T., Petrelli, L., Parnigotto, P.P., Malendowicz, L.K., Nussdorfer, G.G. Int. J. Mol. Med. (2005) [Pubmed]
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