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Human Gastrin-Releasing Peptide Triggers Growth of HepG2 Cells through Blocking Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress-Mediated Apoptosis

Xinqiu Li1, Litang Zhang2, Xianzhu Ke1, and Yuming Wang1*

1Department of Thyroid, Mammary Gland, and Blood Vessel Surgery, Renmin Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan, 442000, China; fax: +86-0719-8637322; E-mail: wangyuming1949@126.com

2Central Hospital of Coal Group of Zaozhuang, Zaozhuang, 277011, China

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received July 25, 2012; Revision received October 30, 2012
Gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) is a kind of neural peptide that plays an important role in the growth of various human cancer cells. However, very little is known about the relationship between GRP and apoptosis in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells. This study investigated the influences of GRP on apoptosis, as well as the mechanism that triggers HepG2 growth. The effects of GRP on cell proliferation were examined by analysis of lactate dehydrogenase. The GRP, caspase 12, and CHOP protein were detected in HepG2 and HL-7702 cells by Western blot, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-related mRNA transcription was detected by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. To explore the specific pathway by which GRP induces the cell growth, we investigated the apoptosis-related pathway. The expression of GRP in HL-7702 cells inhibited tunicamycin triggered ER stress-associated XBP1, ATF4, and TRAF2 mRNA transcription. Three main ER stress-unfolded protein response pathway proteins, including spliced XBP1, cleaved ATF6, IRE1-α, PERK, and eIF2-α, were increased significantly. Furthermore, the cleaved caspase 12 activation was blocked and CHOP expression was inhibited when GRP was expressed either in HepG2 or HL-7702 cells. In conclusion, GRP triggers the growth of HepG2 cells through blocking the ER stress-mediated pathway.
KEY WORDS: gastrin-releasing peptide, growth, endoplasmic reticulum stress, apoptosis

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297913010136