Overexpression of G protein-coupled receptors in cancer cells: Involvement in tumor progression

Shuyu Li, Shuguang Huang, Sheng Bin Peng

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201 Scopus citations


G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) play important roles in a variety of biological and pathological processes. They are considered among the most desirable targets for drug development. Recent studies have demonstrated that many GPCRs, such as endothelin receptors, chemokine receptors and lysophosphatidic acid receptors have been implicated in the tumorigenesis and metastasis of multiple human cancers. In this study, we conducted an in silico analysis of GPCR gene expression in primary human tumors by analyzing some publicly available gene expression profiling data. Statistical analysis was performed on eight microarray data sets of non-small cell lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, melanoma, gastric cancer and diffused large B cell lymphoma to identify GPCRs that are up-regulated in primary or metastatic cancer cells. Our analysis has demonstrated overexpression of several GPCRs in primary tumor cells, including chemokine receptors and protease-activated receptors that were shown to be important for tumorigenesis by previous studies. In addition, we have uncovered several GPCRs, such as neuropeptide receptors, adenosine A2B receptor, P2Y purinoceptor, calcium-sensing receptor and metabotropic glutamate receptors, that are expressed at a significantly higher level in some cancer tissue and may play a role in cancer progression. Analysis of cancer samples in different disease stages also suggests that some GPCRs, such as endothelin receptor A, may be involved in early tumor progression and others, such as CXCR4, may play a critical role in tumor invasion and metastasis. The present study demonstrates the value of publicly available microarray data as a resource to gain more understanding of cancer biology, to validate previous findings from in vitro experiments, and to identify potential novel anticancer targets and biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1329-1339
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • G protein
  • Tumor progression


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