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Peptides. 1994;15(2):281-5.

Corticotropin-releasing factor stimulates cyclic AMP, arachidonic acid release, and growth of lung cancer cells.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC 20037.


The effects of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) on human lung cancer cell lines was investigated. Corticotropin-releasing factor increased the cAMP levels in a dose-dependent manner; CRF (100 nM) elevated the cAMP levels approximately eleven-fold using NCI-H345 cells and increased the gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) secretion rate by approximately 70%. Similarly, sauvagine, a structural analogue of CRF, elevated the cAMP levels with a half-maximal effective dose (ED50) of 20 nM. The increase in cAMP caused by CRF and sauvagine was reversed by alpha-helical CRF(9-41). Corticotropin-releasing factor had no effect on cytosolic calcium but stimulated [3H]arachidonic acid release from NCI-H1299 cells with an ED50 of 30 nM. The increase in [3H]arachidonic acid release caused by 100 nM CRF was significantly reversed by 1 or 10 microM alpha-helical CRF(9-41). Also, CRF stimulated the clonal growth of NCI-H345 and H720 cells and the growth increase caused by CRF was reversed by alpha-helical CRF(9-41). These data suggest that CRF may be a regulatory peptide in lung cancer.

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