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J Biol Chem. 2005 Jun 24;280(25):24053-63. Epub 2005 Apr 26.

Cyclooxygenase-2-derived prostaglandin E2 promotes human cholangiocarcinoma cell growth and invasion through EP1 receptor-mediated activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor and Akt.

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Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.


Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)-mediated prostaglandin synthesis has recently been implicated in human cholangiocarcinogenesis. This study was designed to examine the mechanisms by which COX-2-derived prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) regulates cholangiocarcinoma cell growth and invasion. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed elevated expression of COX-2 and the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR) in human cholangiocarcinoma tissues. Overexpression of COX-2 in a human cholangiocarcinoma cell line (CCLP1) increased tumor cell growth and invasion in vitro and in severe combined immunodeficient mice. Overexpression of COX-2 or treatment with PGE2 or the EP1 receptor agonist ONO-DI-004 induced phosphorylation of EGFR and enhanced tumor cell proliferation and invasion, which were inhibited by the EP1 receptor small interfering RNA or antagonist ONO-8711. Treatment of CCLP1 cells with PGE2 or ONO-DI-004 enhanced binding of EGFR to the EP1 receptor and c-Src. Furthermore, PGE2 or ONO-DI-004 treatment also increased Akt phosphorylation, which was blocked by the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors AG 1478 and PD 153035. These findings reveal that the EP1 receptor transactivated EGFR, thus activating Akt. On the other hand, activation of EGFR by its cognate ligand (EGF) increased COX-2 expression and PGE2 production, whereas blocking PGE2 synthesis or the EP1 receptor inhibited EGF-induced EGFR phosphorylation. This study reveals a novel cross-talk between the EP1 receptor and EGFR signaling that synergistically promotes cancer cell growth and invasion.

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