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Lab Invest. 2004 Oct;84(10):1352-62.

Aberrant expression of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) receptors in human colorectal cancer.

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Department of Surgical Oncology, University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a simple bioactive phospholipid with diverse effects on various cells, that interacts with three G protein-coupled transmembrane receptors, LPA1, LPA2, and LPA3. The expression pattern and functions of these LPA receptors in various tumors have not been fully examined, except in ovarian cancer. To evaluate the LPA receptor expression profile in human colorectal cancer and in normal mucosa, we used real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and measured the expression levels of LPA1, LPA2, and LPA3 messenger RNA (mRNA) in 26 colorectal cancers and 16 corresponding normal tissue samples. Normal epithelium expressed both LPA1 and LPA2 mRNA at similar levels. In comparison, colorectal cancers expressed LPA1 mRNA at a significantly lower level (0.3-fold; P<0.05), and LPA2 mRNA at a significantly higher level (three-fold; P<0.05), as compared with normal tissues. Thus, the ratio of LPA2/LPA1 increased markedly during malignant transformation (18-fold increase). LPA3 mRNA was expressed at only a low level in both normal and cancer tissues. We also assessed LPA2 expression immunohistochemically using a rat anti-LPA2 monoclonal antibody, and confirmed high expression of LPA2 in colorectal cancer at the protein level. As for LPA1, we examined Western blot analysis for 16 matched normal and cancer tissues. It revealed a significant decrease in the expression of LPA1 protein in cancer tissues compared to normal mucosa in nine of 16 cases, and in the remaining seven cases the expression levels was much the same. These results suggested that alteration of LPA receptor expression might be an important event in the development of colorectal cancer, and therefore, LPA and its receptors could be a chemopreventive target against colorectal cancer.

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