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G Monges, P Biagini, J-F Cantaloube, C Chicheportiche, V Frances, D Brandini, P Parc, J-F Seitz, M Giovannini, R Sauvan, and J Hassoun


To investigate the hypothesis that gastrin might be synthesized by tumour tissues in cancer of the colon, samples from six human colon tumours, one hepatic metastasis, four normal colonic mucosal samples and two antral and one fundic gastric mucosal samples from nine patients were analysed to determine whether gastrin mRNA was present.

RNA was extracted from surgical specimens by ultracentrifugation on a CsC1 cushion, purified using the guanidinium thiocyanate method, reversetranscribed and amplified by polymerase chain reaction. Gastrin mRNA was detected in each colonic carcinoma sample (including the hepatic metastasis), while no such signal was observed in normal colon biopsies. Positive and negative controls (gastric antrum and fundus respectively) gave the expected results. In each of the positive samples, the chemiluminescent revelation of amplified products after Southern blotting corresponded to gastrin mRNA without the intron.

These findings demonstrate the ability of primary and metastatic human colonic tumours to produce gastrin mRNA. Since malignant cell lines have been reported to produce gastrin peptide, and since gastrin receptors were present in some cases, our results support the idea that gastrin may be involved in an autocrine mechanism.

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V Vuaroqueaux, A Dutour, N Bourhim, L Ouafik, G Monges, N Briard, N Sauze, C Oliver, and M Grino

Numerous studies have suggested that the antiproliferative potency of somatostatin (SS) analogues may be an efficient tool to improve the prognosis of colorectal cancer. In order to facilitate current efforts to design potent antitumour SS analogues, we studied the distribution of human SS receptors (hsst1-5) mRNAs in a large set of tumoural and normal colonic tissues. Localisation of hsst1-5 mRNAs in normal and tumoural tissues was performed by in situ hybridisation using radioactive antisense or sense riboprobes. Semi-quantitative analysis of hsst5 mRNA was performed using a computerised image analysis system. Hsst binding sites were characterised by studying the relative potency of SS14, SS28 or SS analogues in displacing [(125)I]Tyr degrees -d-Trp(8)-SS14 bound to HT29-D4 cells. Hsst5 mRNA was by far the most expressed subtype in both normal and transformed epithelial cells as well as in the HT29-D4 cell line. An increased expression of hsst5 mRNA was found in tumours. Hsst1 mRNA was expressed preferentially as clusters in immune cells in lamina propria and in stroma close to the tumour. A low expression of hsst4, hsst3 and hsst2 was seen in normal and tumoural tissue. In HT29-D4, binding experiments with SS14 demonstrated the existence of one SS binding class (K(d)=524 nM, B(max)=1fmol/10(6 )cells). In competition binding studies, SS28 and BIM23268 (an analogue that shows preferential specificity towards hsst5) effectively inhibited binding of [(125)I]Tyr degrees -d-Trp(8)-SS14 (IC(50)=15 and 157 nM respectively), while BIM23197 (an analogue that shows preferential affinity for hsst2) was ineffective. Our results show a high expression of hsst5 mRNA in human tumoural colonic tissue, while hsst5 protein is the predominant hsst protein subtype in a tumoural colonic cell line.