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Int J Oncol. 2000 Jan;16(1):197-206.

Molecular mechanism of action of parathyroid hormone related peptide in hypercalcemia of malignancy: therapeutic strategies (review).

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Royal Victoria Hospital, Calcium Research Laboratory, Room H4.72, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1A1, Canada.


Parathyroid hormone related peptide (PTHRP) was identified and characterized from tumors manifesting the syndrome of hypercalcemia of malignancy (HM). These hypercalcemic effects are due to the strong sequence homology between parathyroid hormone (PTH) and PTHRP in the bioactive amino terminal region and its ability to interact with G-protein linked seven transmembrane PTH/PTHRP receptor. However, due to the expression of PTHRP in several fetal and adult tissues, it also has a variety of physiological actions including the ability to play an important role in cell growth and differentiation. Since the isolation and characterization of PTHRP gene, intense efforts have been made to study its circulating forms in health and disease, regulation of PTHRP gene expression and molecular mechanism of PTHRP action in normal and in tumor cells. Various in vivo models of HM were developed which mimicked the human syndrome. Mice homozygous for PTHRP deletion died at birth due to impaired chondrocyte differentiation resulting in skeletal deformities and respiratory failure. Since HM continues to be a major cause of cancer associated morbidity and mortality there is an urgent need to develop strategies to control the syndrome of HM. This review describes the biosynthesis and secretion of various molecular forms of PTHRP, regulation of PTHRP gene expression and discusses the molecular pathways involved in its actions. Based on this information, various therapeutic strategies which are currently under development are discussed. These studies will form the basis of future efforts aimed at optimization of these approaches for further clinical development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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