Research Papers:

A potential anti-tumor effect of leukotriene C4 through the induction of 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase expression in colon cancer cells

Lubna M. Mehdawi, Shakti Ranjan Satapathy, Annika Gustafsson, Kent Lundholm, Maria Alvarado-Kristensson and Anita Sjölander _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:35033-35047. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16591

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Lubna M. Mehdawi1, Shakti Ranjan Satapathy1, Annika Gustafsson2, Kent Lundholm2, Maria Alvarado-Kristensson3 and Anita Sjölander1

1Cell and Experimental Pathology, Department of Translational Medicine, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden

2Department of Surgery, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

3Molecular Pathology, Department of Translational Medicine, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden

Correspondence to:

Anita Sjölander, email: [email protected]

Keywords: CysLTR2, 15-PGDH, colon cancer, LTC4 signaling, anti-tumor

Received: December 20, 2016     Accepted: March 03, 2017     Published: March 27, 2017


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Cyclooxygenase-2, which plays a key role in the biosynthesis of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), is often up-regulated in CRC and in other types of cancer. PGE2 induces angiogenesis and tumor cell survival, proliferation and migration. The tumor suppressor 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PGDH) is a key enzyme in PGE2 catabolism, converting it into its inactive metabolite 15-keto-PGE2, and is often down-regulated in cancer. Interestingly, CRC patients expressing high levels of the cysteinyl leukotriene 2 (CysLT2) receptor have a good prognosis; therefore, we investigated a potential link between CysLT2 signaling and the tumor suppressor 15-PGDH in colon cancer cells.

We observed a significant up-regulation of 15-PGDH after treatment with LTC4, a CysLT2 ligand, in colon cancer cells at both the mRNA and protein levels, which could be reduced by a CysLT2 antagonist or a JNK inhibitor. LTC4 induced 15-PGDH promoter activity via JNK/AP-1 phosphorylation. Furthermore, we also observed that LTC4, via the CysLT2/JNK signaling pathway, increased the expression of the differentiation markers sucrase-isomaltase and mucin-2 in colon cancer cells and that down-regulation of 15-PGDH totally abolished the observed increase in these markers.

In conclusion, the restoration of 15-PGDH expression through CysLT2 signaling promotes the differentiation of colon cancer cells, indicating an anti-tumor effect of CysLT2 signaling.

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