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Regul Pept. 2005 Feb 15;125(1-3):41-6.

eNOS, nNOS, cGMP and protein kinase G mediate the inhibitory effect of pancreastatin, a chromogranin A-derived peptide, on growth and proliferation of hepatoma cells.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, Investigation Unit, University Hospital Virgen Macarena, Av. Sanchez Pizjuan 4, Seville 41009, Spain.


Pancreastatin (PST), a chromogranin A-derived peptide, has an anti-insulin metabolic effect and inhibits growth and proliferation by producing nitric oxide (NO) in HTC rat hepatoma cells. When NO production is blocked, a proliferative effect prevails due to the activation a Galphaq/11-phospholipase C-beta (PLC-beta) pathway, which leads to an increase in [Ca2+]i, protein kinase C (PKC) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation. The aim of the present study was to investigate the NO synthase (NOS) isoform that mediates these effects of PST on HTC hepatoma cells and the possible roles of cyclic GMP (cGMP) and cGMP-dependent protein kinase. DNA and protein synthesis in response to PST were measured as [3H]-thymidine and [3H]-leucine incorporation in the presence of various pharmacological inhibitors: N-monomethyl-L-arginine (NMLA, nonspecific NOS inhibitor), L-NIO (endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) inhibitor), espermidine (neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) inhibitor), LY83583 (guanylyl cyclase inhibitor), and KT5823 (protein kinase G inhibitor, (PKG)). L-NIO, similarly to NMLA, reverted the inhibitory effect of PST on hepatoma cell into a stimulatory effect on growth and proliferation. Nevertheless, espermidine also prevented the inhibitory effect of PST, but there was no stimulation of growth and proliferation. When guanylyl cyclase activity was blocked, there was again a reversion of the inhibitory effect into a stimulatory action, suggesting that the effect of NO was mediated by the production of cGMP. PKG inhibition prevented the inhibitory effect of PST, but there was no stimulatory effect. Therefore, the inhibitory effect of PST on growth and proliferation of hepatoma cells may be mainly mediated by eNOS activation. In turn, the effect of NO may be mediated by cGMP, whereas other pathways in addition to PKG activation seem to mediate the inhibition of DNA and protein synthesis by PST in HTC hepatoma cells.

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