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Regions of hypoxia are a common feature of solid tumours. When tumour cells are exposed to hypoxic stress, transcription of a battery of genes is initiated. The angiogenic factor adrenomedullin (ADM) is a hypoxia regulated gene. ADM is thought to act through the G protein-coupled receptor calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CRLR), with specificity being conferred by the receptor associated modifying protein 2 (RAMP2). Here we report for the first time that ADM treated or stably transfected Ishikawa cells overexpressing ADM show increased resistance to hypoxia induced apoptosis. These cells also show an upregulation of the oncoprotein Bcl-2, which is protective against hypoxic cell death when transiently transfected into Ishikawa cells. Since Ishikawa cells express the putative ADM-receptor CRLR-RAMP2 the production and secretion of ADM with the consecutive upregulation of Bcl-2 could establish an autocrine/paracrine mechanism rescuing malignant cells from hypoxic cell death. These results, taken together with our previous findings that ADM is an angiogenic factor which is upregulated by the nonsteroidal antiestrogen tamoxifen (TAM) in endometrial cells, implicate this peptide as a promoter of tumour growth and a possible target for anticancer strategies.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





2937 - 2945


Adrenomedullin, Calcitonin Receptor-Like Protein, Cell Division, Cell Hypoxia, Cell Survival, Endometrial Neoplasms, Female, Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic, Humans, Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins, Membrane Proteins, Peptides, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2, Receptor Activity-Modifying Protein 2, Receptor Activity-Modifying Proteins, Receptors, Calcitonin, Transfection, Tumor Cells, Cultured, Up-Regulation