Nature communications

The tobacco-specific carcinogen-operated calcium channel promotes lung tumorigenesis via IGF2 exocytosis in lung epithelial cells.

PMID 27666821


Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) binding to the tobacco-specific carcinogen 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) induces Ca(2+) signalling, a mechanism that is implicated in various human cancers. In this study, we investigated the role of NNK-mediated Ca(2+) signalling in lung cancer formation. We show significant overexpression of insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) in association with IGF-1R activation in human preneoplastic lung lesions in smokers. NNK induces voltage-dependent calcium channel (VDCC)-intervened calcium influx in airway epithelial cells, resulting in a rapid IGF2 secretion via the regulated pathway and thus IGF-1R activation. Silencing nAChR, α1 subunit of L-type VDCC, or various vesicular trafficking curators, including synaptotagmins and Rabs, or blockade of nAChR/VDCC-mediated Ca(2+) influx significantly suppresses NNK-induced IGF2 exocytosis, transformation and tumorigenesis of lung epithelial cells. Publicly available database reveals inverse correlation between use of calcium channel blockers and lung cancer diagnosis. Our data indicate that NNK disrupts the regulated pathway of IGF2 exocytosis and promotes lung tumorigenesis.

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EHU091501 MISSION® esiRNA, esiRNA human RAB27A (esiRNA1)