Cholecystokinin type 2 receptor in colorectal cancer: diagnostic and therapeutic target

Colorectal Cancer

Chang J, et al. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 2020.


INTRODUCTION: Cholecystokinin type 2 receptor (CCK2R), which mediates the action of gastrin and cholecystokinin (CCK), has been demonstrated to promote the proliferation of colorectal cancer (CRC). A number of studies showed that CCK2R overexpressed in gastric cancer and pancreatic cancer but few in CRC. The correlation between CCK2R expression and clinicopathological characteristics is also not clear.

METHODS: This study investigated CCK2R expression in a wide range of cell lines and clinical CRC samples, and explored expression pattern and prognostic value of CCK2R in relation to clinicopathological parameters. The location and expression levels of CCK2R were measured by immunocytochemical (ICC), qRT-PCR and Western blot. The druggability and antineoplastic effects of CCK2R as a therapeutic target were investigated using an anti-CCK2R targeting recombinant toxin named rCCK8PE38 by CCK-8 assay.

RESULTS: Compared with paracarcinoma tissues, tumor samples showed overexpression of CCK2R (p = 0.028) including both CRC tissue and plasma samples, with plasma detection showing a significant indication for CCK2R evaluation. Aberrant expression correlated significantly with histological type (p = 0.032) and p53 status (p < 0.01), and patients with CCK2R overexpression had significantly lower disease-free survival. Application of rCCK8PE38 demonstrated the specificity and druggability of CCK2R as a therapeutic target, providing a strategy for clinical case screening of drugs targeting CCK2R.

CONCLUSION: This study highlighted the aberrant expression and clinical correlation of CCK2R and reveals its diagnostic, prognostic and treatment value in CRC. We hypothesize that CCK2R serve as a target for the diagnosis and treatment of this cancer.