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J Biol Chem. 2003 May 23;278(21):19396-405. Epub 2003 Mar 7.

Potential role of microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 in tumorigenesis.

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Department of Health Chemistry, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Showa University, 1-5-8 Hatanodai, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142-8555, Japan.


Microsomal prostaglandin E2 synthase-1 (mPGES-1) is a stimulus-inducible enzyme that functions downstream of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 in the PGE2-biosynthetic pathway. Given the accumulating evidence that COX-2-derived PGE2 participates in the development of various tumors, including colorectal cancer, we herein examined the potential involvement of mPGES-1 in tumorigenesis. Immunohistochemical analyses demonstrated the expression of both COX-2 and mPGES-1 in human colon cancer tissues. HCA-7, a human colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line that displays COX-2- and PGE2-dependent proliferation, expressed both COX-2 and mPGES-1 constitutively. Treatment of HCA-7 cells with an mPGES-1 inhibitor or antisense oligonucleotide attenuated, whereas overexpression of mPGES-1 accelerated, PGE2 production and cell proliferation. Moreover, cotransfection of COX-2 and mPGES-1 into HEK293 cells resulted in cellular transformation manifested by colony formation in soft agar culture and tumor formation when implanted subcutaneously into nude mice. cDNA array analyses revealed that this mPGES-1-directed cellular transformation was accompanied by changes in the expression of a variety of genes related to proliferation, morphology, adhesion, and the cell cycle. These results collectively suggest that aberrant expression of mPGES-1 in combination with COX-2 can contribute to tumorigenesis.

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