Involvement of Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor in l-Kynurenine-Mediated Parathyroid Hormone–Related Peptide Expression

  • Zhiqing DuanEmail author
  • Jiangong Lu
Original Paper


Parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP), produced by specific cancers such as lung cancer, profoundly influences the formation of bone metastatic lesions via the “vicious cycle” of tumor growth and bone resorption. The changes in gene expression regulated by the abnormal microenvironment components play key roles in maintaining the biological characteristics of cells, such as the organotropism of cancer metastasis. A recent study has shown that l-kynurenine (l-Kyn), one of microenvironment components, induced a substantial increase in the metastasis of lung cancer cells. What remains unclear, however, is the linkage between l-Kyn and bone metastatic lesions. In the present paper, we found that a significant upregulation of PTHrP expression was detected when 95D cells, a lung cancer cell line, were incubated with 50 μM of l-Kyn. Meanwhile, l-Kyn (50/100 μM) strongly strengthened aryl hydrocarbon receptor (Ahr) expression. Additionally, l-Kyn (50 μM) increased the expression of the nuclear translocation of Ahr and cytochrome P450 1A1. Most importantly, the l-Kyn-induced upregulation of migration was significantly reduced when cells were co-incubated with siRNAAhr. Notably, the l-Kyn-mediated increase in PTHrP was also substantially attenuated upon siRNAAhr treatment in 95D cells. These results suggest that Ahr is involved in the l-Kyn-induced enhancement of PTHrP expression.


L-kynurenine Bone metastatic lesions Parathyroid hormone-related peptide Aryl hydrocarbon receptor 


Authors’ Contribution

Zhiqing Duan participated in the study design, performed partly experiments, drafted the manuscript, and analyzed the data. Jiangong Lu performed partly experiments and analyzed the data.

Funding Information

This study was supported by the Foundation of Shanxi Educational Committee (Grant No. 201802057), the Youth Research Fund of Shanxi Medical University (Grant No. 02201518), and the Youth Research Fund of Shanxi Province (Grant No. 201601D021169).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research Involving Human Participants and/or Animals

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

12672_2019_357_MOESM1_ESM.doc (66 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 65 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Basic Medical SciencesShanxi Medical UniversityTaiyuanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.The Second Hospital of Shanxi Medical UniversityTaiyuanPeople’s Republic of China

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