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Cancer Res. 2006 Jul 1;66(13):6649-56.

Repression of prostaglandin dehydrogenase by epidermal growth factor and snail increases prostaglandin E2 and promotes cancer progression.

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Departments of Cell and Developmental Biology, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2300 Pierce Avenue, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.


Prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)), a proinflammatory bioactive lipid, promotes cancer progression by modulating proliferation, apoptosis, and angiogenesis. PGE(2) is a downstream product of cyclooxygenase (COX) and is biochemically inactivated by prostaglandin dehydrogenase (PGDH). In the present study, we investigated the mechanisms by which PGDH is down-regulated in cancer. We show that epidermal growth factor (EGF) represses PGDH expression in colorectal cancer cells. EGF receptor (EGFR) signaling induces Snail, which binds conserved E-box elements in the PGDH promoter to repress transcription. Induction of PGE(2) catabolism through inhibition of EGFR signaling blocks cancer growth in vivo. In human colon cancers, elevated Snail expression correlates well with down-regulation of PGDH. These data indicate that PGDH may serve a tumor suppressor function in colorectal cancer and provide a possible COX-2-independent way to target PGE(2) to inhibit cancer progression.

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