Gastrin promotes human colon cancer cell growthviaCCK-2 receptor-mediated cyclooxygenase-2 induction and prostaglandin E2 production

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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 naïve expression of CCK-2 receptor (short splice variant), COX-1, COX-2 and prostaglandin EP4 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 (EP4 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 E2 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 E2 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 E2 production and EP4 receptor activation; (c) the recruitment of COX-2/prostaglandin pathways contributes to the growth-promoting actions exerted by gastrin-17.British Journal of Pharmacology (2005) 144, 338–348. doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0706053

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