Objectives: To evaluate whether aggressive, undifferentiated neuroblastomas express tumor suppressor protein PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome ten) and to examine the effects of gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) on PTEN gene and protein expression. Summary Background Data: We have previously shown that neuroblastomas secrete GRP, which binds to its cell surface receptor (GRP-R) to stimulate cell growth in an autocrine fashion. However, the effects of GRP on expression of the tumor suppressor gene PTEN have not been elucidated in neuroblastomas. Methods: Paraffin-embedded sections from human neuroblastomas were analyzed for PTEN and phospho-Akt protein expression by immunohistochemistry. Human neuroblastoma cell lines (SK-N-SH and SH-SY5Y) were stably transfected with the plasmid pEGFP-GRP-R to establish GRP-R overexpression cell lines, and the effects of GRP on PTEN gene and protein expression were determined. Results: A decrease in the ratio of PTEN to phospho-Akt protein expression was identified in poorly differentiated neuroblastomas. An increase in GRP binding capacity was confirmed in GRP-R overexpressing cells, which demonstrated an accelerated constitutive cell growth rate. PTEN gene and protein expression was significantly decreased in GRP-R overexpressing cells when compared with controls. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate decreased expression of the tumor suppressor protein PTEN in more aggressive undifferentiated neuroblastomas. An increase in GRP binding capacity, as a result of GRP-R overexpression, down-regulates PTEN expression. These findings suggest that an inhibition of the tumor suppressor gene PTEN may be an important regulatory mechanism involved in GRP-induced cell proliferation in neuroblastomas.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Annals of surgery|
|State||Published - May 1 2005|
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