The Role of Prostaglandin E2/EP4 Prostanoid Receptor Signaling in Colorectal Carcinogenesis
Committee ChairNelson, Mark A.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractColorectal cancer, among other tumors, is characterized by elevated levels of prostaglandins due to the up-regulation of cyclooxygenase -2 (COX-2), a key enzyme in the eicosanoid biosynthesis pathway. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is an important prostaglandin that exerts its biological function via four transmembrane G protein coupled receptors (EP1-4), among which the EP4 receptor is the most important. The relevance of EP4 receptor to the carcinogenic process and the consequences of its interaction with PGE2 were explored in this dissertation.Despite the importance of the EP4 receptor in colon carcinogenesis, studies looking at the receptor expression during cancer progression have not been extensive. One study showed that the protein levels of EP4 receptor were elevated in colon cancer whereas another study indicated that mRNA levels were decreased in tumor compared to normal. We expanded these observations and now report that the elevated protein levels of EP4 receptor in cancer are due to increased translation of proteins.In addition, we identified S100P as a novel downstream target of the PGE2/EP4 receptor signaling pathway. S100P has been previously implicated in a number of gastro-intestinal cancers such as pancreatic, gastric and colon cancers. However, its regulation via the PGE2/EP4 receptor signaling pathway has never been investigated. Here, we show that PGE2 via the EP4 receptor signaling leads to the transcriptional activation of S100P and that this activation happens exclusively in the presence of CREB. In summary, this dissertation brings to light novel therapeutic targets which could be used as potential markers to stratify colon cancer patients as well as avenues for clinical intervention for the management of colon carcinogenesis.
Degree ProgramCancer Biology