Gastrin inhibits cholangiocarcinoma growth through increased apoptosis by activation of Ca2+-dependent protein kinase C-alpha.
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BACKGROUND/AIMS: We determined the role of gastrin in the regulation of cholangiocarcinoma growth. METHODS: We evaluated for the functional presence of cholecystokinin (CCK)-B/gastrin receptors in the cholangiocarcinoma cell lines, Mz-ChA-1, HuH-28 and TFK-1. We determined the effect of gastrin on the growth of Mz-ChA-1, HuH-28 and TFK-1 cells. We evaluated the effect of gastrin on growth and apoptosis of Mz-ChA-1 in the absence or presence of inhibitors for CCK-A (L-364, 718) and CCK-B/gastrin (L-365, 260) receptors, the intracellular Ca2+ chelator (BAPTA/AM), and the protein kinase C (PKC)-alpha inhibitor, H7. We evaluated if gastrin effects on Mz-ChA-1 growth and apoptosis are associated with membrane translocation of PKC-alpha. RESULTS: Gastrin inhibited DNA synthesis of Mz-ChA-1, HuH-28 and TFK-1 cells in a dose- and time-dependent fashion. The antiproliferative effect of gastrin on Mz-ChA-1 cells was inhibited by L-365, 260, H7 and BAPTA/AM but not L-364, 718. Gastrin induced membrane translocation of PKC-alpha. The inhibition of growth of Mz-ChA-1 cells by gastrin was associated with increased apoptosis through a PKC-dependent mechanism. CONCLUSIONS: Gastrin inhibits the growth of Mz-ChA-1, HuH-28 and TFK-1 cells. Gastrin inhibits growth and induces apoptosis in Mz-ChA-1 cells through the Ca2+-dependent PKC-alpha. The data suggest a therapeutic role for gastrin in the modulation of cholangiocarcinoma growth.