Human colorectal cancers express a constitutively active cholecystokinin-B/gastrin receptor that stimulates cell growth

Mark Hellmich, Xian Liang Rui, Helen Hellmich, R. Y Declan Fleming, B. Mark Evers, Courtney Townsend

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Abstract

Although ectopic expression of the cholecystokinin B/gastrin receptor (CCK-BR) is widely reported in human colorectal cancers, its role in mediating the proliferative effects of gastrin1-17 (G-17) on these cancers is unknown. Here we report the isolation of a novel splice variant of CCK-BR that exhibits constitutive (ligand-independent) activation of pathways regulating intracellular free Ca2+ ([Ca2+](i)) and cell growth. The splice variant (designated CCK-BRi4sv for intron 4-containing splice variant) is expressed in colorectal cancers but not in normal colonic mucosa adjacent to the cancer. Balb3T3 cells expressing CCK-BRi4sv exhibited spontaneous, ligand-independent, oscillatory increases in [Ca2+](i), whereas cells expressing wild-type CCK-BR did not. Primary cultures of cells isolated from resected colorectal cancers also exhibited a similar pattern of spontaneous [Ca2+](i) oscillations. For both Balb3T3 and primary tumor cells, application of G-17 (10 and 200 nM, respectively) caused an increase in [Ca2+](i). Selective CCK-BR antagonists blocked the G-17-stimulated Ca2+ responses but not the spontaneous [Ca2+](i) oscillations. Cells expressing CCK-BRi4sv exhibited an increased growth rate (~2.5-fold), in the absence of G-17, compared with cells expressing wild-type CCK-BR. The selective pattern of expression, constitutive activity, and trophic action associated with CCK-BRi4sv suggest that this variant may regulate colorectal cancer cell proliferation though a gastrin-independent mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32122-32128
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume275
Issue number41
StatePublished - Oct 13 2000

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Cholecystokinin B Receptor
Cholecystokinin
Cell growth
Colorectal Neoplasms
Cells
Growth
Ligands
Gastrins
Cell proliferation
Introns
Tumors
Chemical activation
Neoplasms
Primary Cell Culture
gastrin 17
Mucous Membrane
Cell Proliferation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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Human colorectal cancers express a constitutively active cholecystokinin-B/gastrin receptor that stimulates cell growth. / Hellmich, Mark; Rui, Xian Liang; Hellmich, Helen; Fleming, R. Y Declan; Evers, B. Mark; Townsend, Courtney.

In: Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol. 275, No. 41, 13.10.2000, p. 32122-32128.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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