FCCC LOGO Faculty Publications
Yang WL , Frucht H
Cholinergic receptor up-regulates COX-2 expression and prostaglandin E(2) production in colon cancer cells
Carcinogenesis. 2000 Oct;21(10) :1789-93
Back to previous list
The M(3) muscarinic cholinergic receptor has important physiological functions on normal colonic cells. It is frequently expressed on human colon cancer cells and is biologically active. Although it is mitogenic in certain cell models, the importance of this receptor on colon carcinogenesis is unknown. In the present study we have determined expression of the M(3) receptor on human colon cancer tissue compared with matched normal tissue and examined the downstream effect of receptor activation in the HT-29 human colon carcinoma cell line. Using reverse transcription-PCR, M(3) receptor RNA expression was detected in all matched colon carcinoma and normal specimens from eight patients. Five of the eight (62%) patients showed an up to 8-fold greater level of M(3) receptor expression in cancer compared with the matched normal tissue. Exposure of HT-29 cells to carbachol, a stable receptor agonist, results in a 10-fold increase in cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) protein. This induction of COX-2 protein was dose dependent and was inhibited by the cholinergic receptor antagonist N-methylscopolamine (NMS). Carbachol caused a dose-dependent increase in prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)), the main product of cyclooxygenase activity. The maximum stimulatory effect (40-fold increase) was noted with 1mM carbachol. The increase in PGE(2) was completely abolished by NMS and by the COX-2 selective inhibitor NS398. This suggests that the M(3) receptor mediates PGE(2) production by a mechanism involving COX-2. As COX-2 and PGE(2) are known promoters of gastrointestinal cancer, these data suggest that M(3) receptor activation may facilitate progression of colon carcinoma, in part by a COX-2-mediated cellular mechanism.
20477918 0143-3334 Journal Article