The EP4 receptor antagonist, L-161,982, blocks prostaglandin E2-induced signal transduction and cell proliferation in HCA-7 colon cancer cells

Durga Prasad Cherukuri, Xiao B.O. Chen, Anne Christine Goulet, Robert N. Young, Yongxin Han, Ronald L. Heimark, John W. Regan, Emmanuelle Meuillet, Mark A. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Accumulating evidence indicates that elevated levels of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) can increase intestinal epithelial cell proliferation, and thus play a role in colorectal tumorigenesis. PGE2 exerts its effects through four G-protein-coupled PGE receptor (EP) subtypes, named the EP1, EP2, EP3, and EP4. Increased phosphorylation of extracellular regulated kinases (ERK1/2) is required for PGE2 to stimulate cell proliferation of human colon cancer cells. However, the EP receptor(s) that are involved in this process remain unknown. We provide evidence that L-161,982, a selective EP4 receptor antagonist, completely blocks PGE2-induced ERK phosphorylation and cell proliferation of HCA-7 cells. In order to identify downstream target genes of ERK1/2 signaling, we found that PGE2 induces expression of early growth response gene-1 (EGR-1) downstream of ERK1/2 and regulates its expression at the level of transcription. PGE2 treatment induces phosphorylation of cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB) at Ser133 residue and CRE-mediated luciferase activity in HCA-7 cells. Studies with dominant-negative CREB mutant (ACREB) provide clear evidence for the involvement of CREB in PGE2 driven egr-1 transcription in HCA-7 cells. In conclusion, this study reveals that egr-1 is a target gene of PGE2 in HCA-7 cells and is regulated via the newly identified EP4/ERK/CREB pathway. Finally our results support the notion that antagonizing EP4 receptors may provide a novel therapeutic approach to the treatment of colon cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2969-2979
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number14
StatePublished - Aug 15 2007


  • Colon cancer
  • ERK1/2
  • L-161,982
  • PGE
  • egr-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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