PURPOSE: Gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) is a 27-amino acid neuropeptide that has been identified in the cytoplasm of many neuroendocrine tumors. Gastrin releasing peptide has been labeled as an autocrine growth factor in small cell lung carcinomas. Recent work has also shown this to be true in the growth of neuroblastoma cells in vitro. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate GRP and its receptor (GRP-R) in resected human neuroblastomas and to correlate the presence or absence with other known predictors of poor prognosis. Methods To demonstrate the presence of GRP and GRP-R mRNA, total RNA was extracted from human neuroblastoma cells. A reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was then performed using specific primers. The products of the RT-PCR were then confirmed to be GRP and GRP-R cDNA by Southern blot analysis. The RT-PCR products were then sequenced, and these sequences were compared with the know sequences of GRP and GRP-R DNA. Results N = 19. GRP and GRP-R mRNA were present in all neuroblastoma specimens. Although no correlation with other known predictors of poor prognosis existed, transcripts of four different sizes (400, 450, 500, and 950 bp) were seen in the GRP-R transcripts. The sequences of the 950 bp-sized transcript reverse transcription PCR products were identical to the known GRP-R. Conclusions We conclude that gastrin releasing peptide and gastrin releasing peptide receptor mRNA are present in all human neuroblastomas. Although qualitatively it appears to lack prognostic significance, its ubiquitous nature in the tumor suggests it may be a useful target on which to base future treatment modalities.
- Gastrin releasing peptide
- Gastrin releasing peptide receptor
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