Background: Bombesin-like peptides can function as autocrine or paracrine growth factors and stimulate the growth of some cancer cells, including human prostate cancer. Three bombesin receptor subtypes, termed gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPR), neuromedin B receptor (NMBR), and bombesin receptor subtype 3 (BRS-3), have been identified in rodents and humans.
Methods: We investigated the presence and characteristics of the functional receptors for bombesin/GRP in human prostate adenocarcinoma specimens by radio-receptor assay and the mRNA expression of the three bombesin receptor subtypes by RT-PCR.
Results: Of the 80 specimens of primary prostate cancer examined by receptor binding assays, 50 ( approximately 63%) showed high-affinity, low-capacity binding sites for bombesin/GRP, and 12 of these 50 receptor-positive specimens also showed a second binding site. Of the 22 prostate cancer specimens analyzed by RT-PCR, 20 (91%) expressed GRPR mRNA, 3 (14%) showed NMBR mRNA, and 2 ( approximately 9%) revealed BRS-3 mRNA. No correlation was observed between receptor expression and patients' age or pathological data.
Conclusions: The detection of a wide distribution of bombesin/GRP receptors in human prostate carcinomas supports the view that they may be involved in modulation of tumor progression and suggests that approaches based on binding of bombesin receptor antagonists or new targeted cytotoxic bombesin analogs to prostate cancers could be considered for the therapy.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.