Peptide Agonists of Vasopressin V2 Receptor Reduce Expression of Neuroendocrine Markers and Tumor Growth in Human Lung and Prostate Tumor Cells

Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) comprise a heterogeneous group of malignancies that express neuropeptides as synaptophysin, chromogranin A (CgA), and specific neuronal enolase (NSE), among others. Vasopressin (AVP) is a neuropeptide with an endocrine, paracrine, and autocrine effect in normal and pathological tissues. AVP receptors are present in human lung, breast, pancreatic, colorectal, and gastrointestinal tumors. While AVP V1 receptors are associated with stimulation of cellular proliferation, AVP V2 receptor (V2r) is related to antiproliferative effects. Desmopressin (dDAVP) is a synthetic analog of AVP that acts as a selective agonist for the V2r, which shows antitumor properties in breast and colorectal cancer models. Recently, we developed a derivative of dDAVP named [V(4)Q(5)]dDAVP, which presents higher antitumor effects in a breast cancer model compared to the parental compound. The goal of present work was to explore the antitumor properties of the V2r agonist dDAVP and its novel analog [V(4)Q(5)]dDAVP on aggressive human lung (NCI-H82) and prostate cancer (PC-3) cell lines with neuroendocrine (NE) characteristics. We study the presence of specific NE markers (CgA and NSE) and V2r expression in NCI-H82 and PC-3. Both cell lines express high levels of NE markers NSE and CgA but then incubation with dDAVP diminished expression levels of both markers. DDAVP and [V(4)Q(5)]dDAVP significantly reduced proliferation, doubling time, and migration in both tumor cell cultures. [V(4)Q(5)]dDAVP analog showed a higher cytostatic effect than dDAVP, on cellular proliferation in the NCI-H82 cell line. Silencing of V2r using small interfering RNA significantly attenuated the inhibitory effects of [V(4)Q(5)]dDAVP on NCI-H82 cell proliferation. We, preliminarily, explored the in vivo effect of dDAVP and [V(4)Q(5)]dDAVP on NCI-H82 small cell lung cancer xenografts. Treated tumors (0.3 μg kg(-1), thrice a week) grew slower in comparison to vehicle-treated animals. In this work, we demonstrated that the specific agonists of V2r, dDAVP, and [V(4)Q(5)]dDAVP displays antitumor capacity on different human models of lung and prostate cancers with NE features, showing their potential therapeutic benefits in the treatment of these aggressive tumors.

Frontiers in oncology. 2017 Jan 30*** epublish ***

Marina Pifano, Juan Garona, Carla S Capobianco, Nazareno Gonzalez, Daniel F Alonso, Giselle V Ripoll

Laboratory of Molecular Oncology, Quilmes National University , Bernal, Buenos Aires , Argentina.