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J Cell Physiol. 2001 Jan;186(1):53-64.

G protein-coupled receptor signaling in human ductal pancreatic cancer cells: neurotensin responsiveness and mitogenic stimulation.

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Department of Surgery School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles 90095-1786, USA.


Neuropeptides and their corresponding G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are increasingly implicated in the autocrine/paracrine stimulation of growth of human cancers. We report that neurotensin induced rapid Ca2+ mobilization from intracellular stores followed by Ca2+ influx in five human ductal pancreatic cancer cell lines: HPAF-II, Capan-1, Capan-2, PANC-1, and MIA PaCa-2. In addition, most cell lines exhibited Ca2+ responses to multiple neuropeptides including bombesin, bradykinin, cholecystokinin, and vasopressin and to bioactive lipids, including lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), that also act via GPCRs. The well-differentiated line HPAF-II responded to at least seven independent GPCR agonists. The concentrations of neurotensin required to induce half-maximal effects (EC50) in HPAF-II and PANC-1 cells were 5 and 8nM, respectively. Digital fluorescence image analysis to measure Ca2+ responses in single cells revealed that 90% or more of HPAF-II and PANC-1 cells responded to 10nM neurotensin. Addition of neurotensin to PANC-1 cells also induced rapid and dose-dependent extracellular-regulated protein kinase (ERK-1 and ERK-2) activation and subsequently, stimulated DNA synthesis. The signaling complexity of GPCRs uncovered by these studies reveals a new aspect in the biology of human pancreatic cancer and could offer the basis for new approaches to the treatment of this disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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