Differential actions of muscarinic receptor subtypes in gastric, pancreatic, and colon cancer
Sundel, Margaret H.
Raufman, Jean Pierre
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractCancers arising from gastrointestinal epithelial cells are common, aggressive, and difficult to treat. Progress in this area resulted from recognizing that the biological behavior of these cancers is highly dependent on bioactive molecules released by neurocrine, paracrine, and autocrine mechanisms within the tumor microenvironment. For many decades after its discovery as a neurotrans-mitter, acetylcholine was thought to be synthesized and released uniquely from neurons and con-sidered the sole physiological ligand for muscarinic receptor subtypes, which were believed to have similar or redundant actions. In the intervening years, we learned this former dogma is not tenable. (1) Acetylcholine is not produced and released only by neurons. The cellular machinery required to synthesize and release acetylcholine is present in immune, cancer, and other cells, as well as in lower organisms (e.g., bacteria) that inhabit the gut. (2) Acetylcholine is not the sole physiological activator of muscarinic receptors. For example, selected bile acids can modulate muscarinic receptor function. (3) Muscarinic receptor subtypes anticipated to have overlapping functions based on similar G protein coupling and downstream signaling may have unexpectedly diverse actions. Here, we review the relevant research findings supporting these conclusions and discuss how the complexity of mus-carinic receptor biology impacts health and disease, focusing on their role in the initiation and progression of gastric, pancreatic, and colon cancers. © 2021 by the authors.
SponsorsNational Institutes of Health
Identifier to cite or link to this itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/10713/17367