Coexpression of human somatostatin receptor-2 (SSTR2) and SSTR3 modulates antiproliferative signaling and apoptosis

Published on Monday, 10 February 2014


BACKGROUND: Somatostatin (SST) via five Gi coupled receptors namely SSTR1-5 is known to inhibit cell proliferation by cytostatic and cytotoxic mechanisms. Heterodimerization plays a crucial role in modulating the signal transduction pathways of SSTR subtypes. In the present study, we investigated human SSTR2/SSTR3 heterodimerization, internalization, MAPK signaling, cell proliferation and apoptosis in HEK-293 cells in response to SST and specific agonists for SSTR2 and SSTR3.

RESULTS: Although in basal conditions, SSTR2 and SSTR3 colocalize at the plasma membrane and exhibit heterodimerization, the cell surface distribution of both receptors decreased upon agonist activation and was accompanied by a parallel increase in intracellular colocalization. Receptors activation by SST and specific agonists significantly decreased cAMP levels in cotransfected cells in comparison to control. Agonist-mediated modulation of pERK1/2 was time and concentration-dependent, and pronounced in serum-deprived conditions. pERK1/2 was inhibited in response to SST; conversely receptor-specific agonist treatment caused inhibition at lower concentration and activation at higher concentration. Strikingly, ERK1/2 phosphorylation was sustained upon prolonged treatment with SST but not with receptor-specific agonists. On the other hand, SST and receptor-specific agonists modulated p38 phosphorylation time-dependently. The receptor activation in cotransfected cells exhibits Gi-dependent inhibition of cell proliferation attributed to increased PARP-1 expression and TUNEL staining, whereas induction of p21 and p27Kip1 suggests a cytostatic effect.

CONCLUSION: Our study provides new insights in SSTR2/SSTR3 mediated signaling which might help in better understanding of the molecular interactions involving SSTRs in tumor biology.



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