Neurotensin signaling induces intracellular alkalinization and interleukin-8 expression in human pancreatic cancer cells

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Pancreatic adenocarcinomas express neurotensin receptors in up to 90% of cases, however, their role in tumor biology and as a drug target is not clear. In the present study, a stable neurotensin (NT) analog induced intracellular calcium release and intracellular alkalinization in BxPC-3 and PANC-1 pancreatic cancer cells that was abolished by inhibitors of NT receptor (NTR) and sodium–proton exchanger 1 (NHE1), amiloride and SR 142948, respectively. Activation of NHE1 involved increased phosphorylation of dimethylfumarate-sensitive mitogen- and stress-activated kinase 1/2 (MSK1/2). NTR signaling appears to promote a metastatic phenotype in pancreatic cancer cells by induction of localized extracellular acidification in normoxic cells, preceeding acidosis induced by hypoxia and switch to glycolysis in addition to increased expression of interleukin-8 (IL-8).

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