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Cancer Res. 2000 Sep 15;60(18):5151-7.

Uroguanylin treatment suppresses polyp formation in the Apc(Min/+) mouse and induces apoptosis in human colon adenocarcinoma cells via cyclic GMP.

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  • 1Cancer Chemoprevention Group Nutrition Sector, Monsanto Life Sciences Company, St. Louis, Missouri 63167, USA.


The enteric peptides, guanylin and uroguanylin, are local regulators of intestinal secretion by activation of receptor-guanylate cyclase (R-GC) signaling molecules that produce cyclic GMP (cGMP) and stimulate the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator-dependent secretion of Cl- and HCO3-. Our experiments demonstrate that mRNA transcripts for guanylin and uroguanylin are markedly reduced in colon polyps and adenocarcinomas. In contrast, a specific uroguanylin-R-GC, R-GCC, is expressed in polyps and adenocarcinomas at levels comparable with normal colon mucosa. Activation of R-GCC by uroguanylin in vitro inhibits the proliferation of T84 colon cells and elicits profound apoptosis in human colon cancer cells, T84. Therefore, down-regulation of gene expression and loss of the peptides may interfere with renewal and/or removal of the epithelial cells resulting in the formation of polyps, which can progress to malignant cancers of the colon and rectum. Oral replacement therapy with human uroguanylin was used to evaluate its effects on the formation of intestinal polyps in the Min/+ mouse model for colorectal cancer. Uroguanylin significantly reduces the number of polyps found in the intestine of Min/+ mice by approximately 50% of control. Our findings suggest that uroguanylin and guanylin regulate the turnover of epithelial cells within the intestinal mucosa via activation of a cGMP signaling mechanism that elicits apoptosis of target enterocytes. The intestinal R-GC signaling molecules for guanylin regulatory peptides are promising targets for prevention and/or therapeutic treatment of intestinal polyps and cancers by oral administration of human uroguanylin.

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