Gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP, mammalian bombesin) in the pathogenesis of lung cancer

Jean Viallet, John D. Minna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Established human lung cancer exhibits a complex pattern of genetic changes as well as several distinct autocrine growth factor loops for regulatory peptides. The best studied example is that of gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP), the mammalian homolog of the amphibian bombesin. It is produced by up to 70% of small cell lung cancers and 10-20% of non-small cell lung cancers. GRP stimulates the growth of normal bronchial epithelium as well as that of small cell lung cancer, and its blockade with the use of antibodies or synthetic antagonists inhibits the growth of these tumors. Study of its molecular biology has revealed a complex pattern of mRNA processing which has lead to the recent isolation of a novel family of peptides termed gastrin-releasing peptide gene-associated peptides (GGAPs), present in normal and malignant human tissues. Additional efforts have been directed at characterizing the GRP receptor as well as its intracellular signaling pathways which have been reported both as G protein phospholipase C coupled events as well as activation of a membrane associated tyrosine kinase. In view of its expression in normal bronchial epithelium and its mitogenic effects on this tissue, GRP appears to play a central role in the early events of pulmonary carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-97
Number of pages9
JournalProgress in Growth Factor Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1989


  • Gastrin-releasing peptide
  • bombesin
  • growth factors
  • lung cancer
  • signal transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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