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J Biol Chem. 2011 Feb 25;286(8):6092-9. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.192534. Epub 2011 Jan 6.

Insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor transactivation modulates the inflammatory and proliferative responses of neurotensin in human colonic epithelial cells.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 022115, USA.


Neurotensin (NT) is a gastrointestinal neuropeptide that modulates intestinal inflammation and healing by binding to its high-affinity receptor NTR1. The dual role of NT in inflammation and healing is demonstrated in models of colitis induced by Clostridium difficile toxin A and dextran sulfate sodium, respectively, and involves NF-κB-dependent IL-8 expression and EGF receptor-mediated MAPK activation in human colonocytes. However, the detailed signaling pathways involved in these responses remain to be elucidated. We report here that NT/NTR1 coupling in human colonic epithelial NCM460 cells activates tyrosine phosphorylation of the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) in a time- and dose-dependent manner. NT also rapidly induces Src tyrosine phosphorylation, whereas pretreatment of cells with the Src inhibitor PP2 before NT exposure decreases NT-induced IGF-1R phosphorylation. In addition, inhibition of IGF-1R activation by either its specific antagonist AG1024 or siRNA against IGF-1 significantly reduces NT-induced IL-8 expression and NF-κB-dependent reporter gene expression. Pretreatment with AG1024 also inhibits Akt activation and apoptosis induced by NT. Silencing of Akt expression by siRNA also substantially attenuates NT-induced IL-8 promoter activity and NF-κB-dependent reporter gene expression. This is the first report to indicate that NT transactivates IGF-1R and that this response is linked to Akt phosphorylation and NF-κB activation, contributing to both pro-inflammatory and tissue repair signaling pathways in response to NT in colonic epithelial cells. We propose that IGF-1R activation represents a previously unrecognized key pathway involved in the mechanisms by which NT and NTR1 modulate colonic inflammation and inflammatory bowel disease.

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