Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 116, Issue 2, pp 273–279 | Cite as

Triple-negative breast cancers express receptors for growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) and respond to GHRH antagonists with growth inhibition

  • Frank Köster
  • Jörg B. Engel
  • Andrew V. Schally
  • Arnd Hönig
  • Andreas Schröer
  • Stephan Seitz
  • Florian Hohla
  • Olaf Ortmann
  • Klaus Diedrich
  • Stefan Buchholz
Preclinical Study

Abstract

Triple-negative breast cancers do not express receptors for estrogen or progesterone and do not overexpress HER2. These tumors have an unfavorable prognosis and at present chemotherapy is the only treatment option. Because the antagonists of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) have been shown to inhibit growth of a variety of cancers by endocrine and paracrine/autocrine mechanisms, we evaluated the expression of GHRH receptors in human specimens of triple-negative breast cancers and the response to GHRH by in vitro models. In samples of triple-negative breast cancers we found mRNA expression for the GHRH receptor and its functional splice variant SV1 in 25 and 70% of the cases, respectively and for GHRH in 80% of the samples. Immunoreaction of SV1 was detected in the human triple-negative breast cancer cell line HCC1806 while HCC1937 was negative. The growth of HCC1806 was stimulated by GHRH(1-44)NH2 and inhibited by GHRH antagonist MZ-J-7-118. In addition, in HCC1806 MAP-kinases ERK-1/2 were activated by GHRH. Our findings suggest the existence of an autocrine loop consisting of GHRH and GHRH receptors in triple-negative breast cancers. Our in vitro studies demonstrate that targeting the GHRH receptor may be a therapeutic option which should be evaluated in studies in vivo.

Keywords

Triple-negative Breast cancer Growth hormone-releasing hormone GHRH antagonist MAP-kinase 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank Köster
    • 1
  • Jörg B. Engel
    • 2
  • Andrew V. Schally
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Arnd Hönig
    • 2
  • Andreas Schröer
    • 1
  • Stephan Seitz
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • Florian Hohla
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Olaf Ortmann
    • 6
  • Klaus Diedrich
    • 1
  • Stefan Buchholz
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Gynecology and ObstetricsUniversity of LübeckLübeckGermany
  2. 2.Department of Gynecology and ObstetricsMedical University of WürzburgWürzburgGermany
  3. 3.Veterans Affairs Medical CenterSouth Florida, VA Foundation for Research and EducationMiamiUSA
  4. 4.Department of Pathology and Division of Hematology and OncologyUniversity of MiamiMiamiUSA
  5. 5.Department of Medicine, The Miller School of MedicineUniversity of MiamiMiamiUSA
  6. 6.Department of Gynecology and ObstetricsUniversity of RegensburgRegensburgGermany

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