Mol. Cells 2018; 41(6): 591~602  https://doi.org/10.14348/molcells.2018.0025
Validation of Neurotensin Receptor 1 as a Therapeutic Target for Gastric Cancer
Hafeza Akter1,2, Jung Hwan Yoon3, Young Sook Yoo1, and Min-Jung Kang1,2,*
1Molecular Recognition Research Center, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul 02792, Korea, 2Department of Biological
Chemistry, University of Science and Technology, Daejeon 34113, Korea, 3Department of Pathology, College of Medicine,
The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 06591, Korea
*Correspondence: mjkang1@kist.re.kr
Received January 8, 2018; Revised March 13, 2018; Accepted March 20, 2018.; Published online May 24, 2018.
© Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology. All rights reserved.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/).
ABSTRACT
Gastric cancer is the fifth most common type of malignancy worldwide, and the survival rate of patients with advancedstage gastric cancer is low, even after receiving chemotherapy. Here, we validated neurotensin receptor 1 (NTSR1) as a potential therapeutic target in gastric cancer. We compared NTSR1 expression levels in sixty different gastric cancer-tissue samples and cells, as well as in other cancer cells (lung, breast, pancreatic, and colon), by assessing NTSR1 expression via semi-quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, immunocytochemistry and western blot. Following neurotensin (NT) treatment, we analyzed the expression and activity of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and further determined the effects on cell migration and invasion via wound-healing and transwell assays. Our results revealed that NTSR1 mRNA levels were higher in gastric cancer tissues than non-cancerous tissues. Both of NTSR1 mRNA levels and expression were higher in gastric cancer cell lines relative to levels observed in other cancer-cell lines. Moreover, NT treatment induced MMP-9 expression and activity in all cancer cell lines, which was significantly decreased following treatment with the NTSR1 antagonist SR48692 or small-interfering RNA targeting NTSR1. Furthermore, NT-mediated metastases was confirmed by observing epithelial-mesenchymal transition markers SNAIL and E-cadherin in gastric cancer cells. NTmediated invasion and migration of gastric cancer cells were reduced by NTSR1 depletion through the Erk signaling. These findings strongly suggested that NTR1 constitutes a potential therapeutic target for the inhibition of gastric cancer invasion and metastasis.
Keywords: gastric cancer, MMP-9, neurotensin, NTSR1


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30 June 2018 Volume 41,
Number 6, pp. 495~611

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