Inhibition of tumor promoting signals by activation of SSTR2 and opioid receptors in human breast cancer cells

Published on Monday, 28 July 2014


BACKGROUND: Somatostatin receptors (SSTRs) and opioid receptors (ORs) belong to the superfamily of G-protein coupled receptors and function as negative regulators of cell proliferation in breast cancer. In the present study, we determined the changes in SSTR subtype 2 (SSTR2) and μ, δ and κ-ORs expression, signaling cascades and apoptosis in three different breast cancer cells namely MCF-7, MDA-MB231 and T47D.

METHODS: Immunocytochemistry and western blot analysis were employed to study the colocalization and changes in MAPKs (ERK1/2 and p38), cell survival pathway (PI3K/AKT) and tumor suppressor proteins (PTEN and p53) in breast cancer cell lines. The nature of cell death upon activation of SSTR2 or OR was analysed using flow cytometry analysis.

RESULTS: The activation of SSTR2 and ORs modulate MAPKs (ERK1/2 and p38) in cell dependent and possibly estrogen receptor (ER) dependent manner. The activation of tumor suppressor proteins phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) and p53 antagonized the PI3K/AKT cell survival pathway. Flow cytometry analyses reveal increased necrosis as opposed to apoptosis in MCF-7 and T47D cells when compared to ER negative MDA-MB231 cells. Furthermore, receptor and agonist dependent expression of ORs in SSTR2 immunoprecipitate suggest that SSTR2 and ORs might interact as heterodimers and inhibit epidermal growth factor receptor phosphorylation.

CONCLUSION: Taken together, findings indicate a new role for SSTR2/ORs in modulation of signaling pathways involved in cancer progression and provide novel therapeutic approaches in breast cancer treatment.



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