Gastrin-Releasing Peptide Receptor in Breast Cancer Mediates Cellular Migration and Interleukin-8 Expression

Celia Chao, Kirk Ives, Helen L. Hellmich, Courtney M. Townsend, Mark R. Hellmich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: Breast cancers aberrantly express gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) hormone and its cognate receptor, gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRP-R). Experimental evidence suggests that bombesin (BBS), the pharmacological homologue of GRP, promotes breast cancer growth and progression. The contribution of GRP-R to other poor prognostic indicators in breast cancer, such as the expression of the EGF-R family of growth factors and hormone insensitivity, is unknown. Materials and Methods: Two estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer cell lines were used. MDA-MB-231 overexpress both EGFR and GRPR, whereas SK-BR-3 cells express EGF-R but lack GRP-R. Cellular proliferation was assessed by Coulter counter. Chemotactic migration was performed using Transwell chambers, and the migrated cells were quantified. Northern blot and real-time PCR were used to evaluate proangiogenic factor interleukin-8 (IL-8) mRNA expression. Results: In MDA-MB-231 cells, GRP-R and EGF-R synergize to regulate cell migration, IL-8 expression, but not cell proliferation. In SK-BR-3 cells, ectopic expression of GRP-R was sufficient to increase migration and IL-8 mRNA. Conclusions: These data suggest relevant roles for GRP-R in ER-negative breast cancer progression. Future mechanistic studies to define the molecular role of GRP-R in breast cancer metastasis provide novel targets for the treatment of ER-negative breast cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-31
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • bombesin
  • breast cancer
  • gastrin-releasing peptide receptor
  • interleukin-8
  • migration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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