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Cancer Res. 2003 Sep 1;63(17):5218-23.

Prostaglandin E2 stimulates the growth of colon cancer cells via induction of amphiregulin.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas 77555, USA.


Prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)), a major product of cyclooxygenase enzymes, is implicated in colorectal carcinogenesis and has been shown to stimulate the growth of human colorectal carcinoma cells. Here, we show that PGE(2) activated the cyclic AMP/protein kinase A pathway, which induced the expression of amphiregulin (AR), an epidermal growth factor family member, through activation of a cyclic AMP-responsive element in the AR promoter. AR exerted a mitogenic effect on LS-174 cells and partially mediated the PGE(2)-induced growth stimulation. In addition, PGE(2), in collaboration with transforming growth factor-alpha or K-Ras oncogene, synergistically induced AR expression and activated receptor tyrosine kinase-dependent signaling pathways. Our results provide novel mechanisms for cyclooxygenase-2 pro-oncogenic activity and suggest that PGE(2) may act with major oncogenic pathways in a synergistic fashion to activate the epidermal growth factor receptor signaling system through a ligand-dependent autocrine pathway.

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