Volume 103 (2007) Issue 1 Pages 24-32
We investigated whether leukotriene B4 (LTB4) and its signaling pathway play an important role in the progression of human colon cancer via a direct stimulation of cancer cell proliferation. Remarkable expression of LTB4 receptor 1 (BLT1) in human colon cancer tissues was detected by immunohistochemistry, and Western blot analysis revealed the BLT1 expression in cultured human colon cancer cell lines, Caco2 and HT29. The 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor AA-861 and LTB4-receptor antagonist U75302 showed negative effects on survival and proliferation of both Caco2 and HT-29 cells. The inhibition of cell proliferation is due to the apoptosis because nuclear condensation and increased annexin V expression were observed in the cells treated with AA-861 and U75302. Knockdown of BLT1 by small interfering RNA caused the suppression of BLT1 protein, resulting in the inhibition of cancer cell proliferation. Blockade of BLT1 by the receptor antagonist significantly suppresses the LTB4-stimulated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation in colon cancer cells. These results indicate that the blockade of the LTB4-signaling pathway induces apoptosis via the inhibition of ERK activation in colon cancer cells. The LTB4-signaling pathway might be a new therapeutic target for colon cancer.