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Regul Pept. 2004 Aug 15;120(1-3):195-203.

Gastrin stimulates receptor-mediated proliferation of human esophageal adenocarcinoma cells.

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  • 1Section of Gastroenterology, Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, 650 Albany Street, EBRC Fifth Floor, MA 02118, USA.


The prevalence of esophageal adenocarcinoma in the setting of Barrett's metaplasia continues to increase in Western nations at a rate greater than any other cancer. The trophic properties of gastrin have been documented in gastric, pancreatic and colon cancer cell lines, suggesting a potential role for this regulatory peptide in the growth of these malignancies. The aims of these studies were to identify and characterize the presence of functional cholecystokinin type-2 (gastrin) receptors on the membranes of human esophageal adenocarcinoma cells. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) demonstrated the presence of cholecystokinin type-2 receptor transcripts in human esophageal adenocarcinoma cell lines. Competitive binding assays revealed specific binding of gastrin in SEG-1 cells (IC50 of 2.4 x 10(-8) M). This finding was confirmed by laser scanning confocal microscopy through internalization of rhodamine green labeled gastrin heptapeptide in SEG-1 cells. Gastrin caused a dose-dependent increase in proliferation of SEG-1 cells when compared to controls. This effect was abolished by co-incubation with L365,260, a CCK-2-specific receptor antagonist. Gastrin-induced phosphorylation of the p44 and p42 mitogen-activated protein kinases was demonstrated by Western blot analysis. In conclusion, the studied human esophageal adenocarcinoma cell lines possess cholecystokinin type-2 (gastrin) receptors. Receptors bind gastrin, resulting in increased proliferation in SEG-1 cells.

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