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. 1999 Mar;5(3):147-59.

Glycine-extended Gastrin Exerts Growth-Promoting Effects on Human Colon Cancer Cells

Free PMC article

Glycine-extended Gastrin Exerts Growth-Promoting Effects on Human Colon Cancer Cells

V M Stepan et al. Mol Med. .
Free PMC article


Background: Since human colon cancers often contain significant quantities of progastrin-processing intermediates, we sought to explore the possibility that the biosynthetic precursor of fully processed amidated gastrin, glycine-extended gastrin, may exert trophic effects on human colonic cancer cells.

Materials and methods: Binding of radiolabeled glycine-extended and amidated gastrins was assessed on five human cancer cell lines: LoVo, HT 29, HCT 116, Colo 320DM, and T 84. Trophic actions of the peptides were assessed by increases in [3H]thymidine incorporation and cell number. Gastrin expression was determined by northern blot and radioimmunoassay.

Results: Amidated gastrin did not bind to or stimulate the growth of any of the five cell lines. In contrast, saturable binding of radiolabeled glycine-extended gastrin was seen on LoVo and HT 29 cells that was not inhibited by amidated gastrin (10(-6) M) nor by a gastrin/CCKB receptor antagonist (PD 134308). Glycine-extended gastrin induced a dose-dependent increase in [3H]thymidine uptake in LoVo (143 +/- 8% versus control at 10(-10) M) and HT 29 (151 +/- 11% versus control at 10(-10) M) cells that was not inhibited by PD 134308 or by a mitogen-activated protein (MAP) or ERK kinase (MEK) inhibitor (PD 98509). Glycine-extended gastrin did stimulate jun-kinase activity in LoVo and HT 29 cells. The two cell lines expressed the gastrin gene at low levels and secreted small amounts of amidated gastrin and glycine-extended gastrin into the media.

Conclusions: Glycine-extended gastrin receptors are present on human colon cancer cells that mediate glycine-extended gastrin's trophic effects via a MEK-independent mechanism. This suggests that glycine-extended gastrin and its novel receptors may play a role in colon cancer cell growth.

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