Neuromedin U is overexpressed in pancreatic cancer and increases invasiveness via the hepatocyte growth factor c-Met pathway

Cancer Lett. 2009 May 8;277(1):72-81. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2008.11.028. Epub 2008 Dec 31.


Neuromedin U (NmU) is a bioactive peptide, ubiquitously expressed in the gastrointestinal tract. Here, we analyzed the role of NmU in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) pathogenesis. NmU and NmU receptor-2 mRNA were significantly overexpressed in PDAC and in metastatic tissues. NmU and NmU receptor-2 were localized predominantly in cancer cells. NmU serum levels decreased after tumor resection. Although NmU exerted no effects on cancer cell proliferation, it induced c-Met and a trend towards increased invasiveness as well as an increased hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)-mediated scattering. Thus, NmU may be involved in the HGF-c-Met paracrine loop regulating cell migration, invasiveness and dissemination of PDAC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / pathology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neuropeptides / blood
  • Neuropeptides / genetics
  • Neuropeptides / physiology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met / physiology*
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / genetics
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / physiology


  • Neuropeptides
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter
  • neuromedin U receptor
  • neuromedin U
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met