In1-ghrelin, a splice variant of ghrelin gene, is associated with the evolution and aggressiveness of human neuroendocrine tumors: Evidence from clinical, cellular and molecular parameters.
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Ghrelin system comprises a complex family of peptides, receptors (GHSRs), and modifying enzymes [e.g. ghrelin-O-acyl-transferase (GOAT)] that control multiple pathophysiological processes. Aberrant alternative splicing is an emerging cancer hallmark that generates altered proteins with tumorigenic capacity. Indeed, In1-ghrelin and truncated-GHSR1b splicing variants can promote development/progression of certain endocrine-related cancers. Here, we determined the expression levels of key ghrelin system components in neuroendocrine tumor (NETs) and explored their potential functional role. Twenty-six patients with NETs were prospectively/retrospectively studied [72 samples from primary and metastatic tissues (30 normal/42 tumors)] and clinical data were obtained. The role of In1-ghrelin in aggressiveness was studied in vitro using NET cell lines (BON-1/QGP-1). In1-ghrelin, GOAT and GHSR1a/1b expression levels were elevated in tumoral compared to normal/adjacent tissues. Moreover, In1-ghrelin, GOAT, and GHSR1b expression levels were positively correlated within tumoral, but not within normal/adjacent samples, and were higher in patients with progressive vs. with stable/cured disease. Finally, In1-ghrelin increased aggressiveness (e.g. proliferation/migration) of NET cells. Altogether, our data strongly suggests a potential implication of ghrelin system in the pathogenesis and/or clinical outcome of NETs, and warrant further studies on their possible value for the future development of molecular biomarkers with diagnostic/prognostic/therapeutic value.
AuthorsLuque, RM; Sampedro-Nuñez, M; Gahete, MD; Ramos-Levi, A; Ibáñez-Costa, A; Rivero-Cortés, E; Serrano-Somavilla, A; Adrados, M; Culler, MD; Castaño, JP; Marazuela, M
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