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

Cholecystokinin A and B receptors are differentially expressed in normal pancreas and pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

Cholecystokinin (CCK) plays an important role in pancreatic carcinogenesis. While human CCK-A and -B receptors have been fully characterized, their relative roles in human pancreatic adenocarcinoma remain unclear. Thus, expression of CCK-A and -B receptors in normal human pancreas, pancreatic adenocarcinomas, and other human extrapancreatic tissues and malignancies was examined, using reverse transcription followed by the polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). mRNA isolated from 15 normal pancreas specimens, 22 pancreatic adenocarcinomas, and 58 extrapancreatic tissues and tumors was subjected to RT-PCR using primers specific for human CCK-A and -B receptors. Expression of CCK-B receptors was detected in all tissues arising from pancreas and in most extrapancreatic tissues and tumors. In contrast, CCK-A receptors exhibited a more selective pattern of expression in gall bladder, intestine, brain, ovary, spleen, and thymus. Of significance, CCK-A receptors were expressed selectively in all pancreatic adenocarcinomas, but not in any normal pancreas specimens. In situ hybridization, using receptor-specific riboprobes, localized CCK-A receptor expression to ductal cells, the presumed origin of most human pancreatic adenocarcinomas. Southern blot analysis revealed no evidence of CCK-A receptor gene amplification or rearrangement in pancreatic adenocarcinomas. Because of its selective expression, the CCK-A receptor may serve as selective biomarker for pancreatic adenocarcinoma.[1]


  1. Cholecystokinin A and B receptors are differentially expressed in normal pancreas and pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Weinberg, D.S., Ruggeri, B., Barber, M.T., Biswas, S., Miknyocki, S., Waldman, S.A. J. Clin. Invest. (1997) [Pubmed]
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