Pertussis toxin-sensitive pathway in the stimulation of c-myc expression and DNA synthesis by bombesin

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Science  28 Nov 1986:
Vol. 234, Issue 4780, pp. 1117-1119
DOI: 10.1126/science.3465038


The bombesin-like peptides are potent mitogens for Swiss 3T3 fibroblasts, human bronchial epithelial cells, and cells isolated from small cell carcinoma of the lung. The mechanism of signal transduction in the proliferative response to bombesin was investigated by studying the effect of Bordetella pertussis toxin on bombesin-stimulated mitogenesis. At nanomolar concentrations, bombesin increased levels of c-myc messenger RNA and stimulated DNA synthesis in Swiss 3T3 cells. Treatment of the cells with pertussis toxin (5 nanograms per milliliter) completely blocked bombesin-enhanced c-myc expression and eliminated bombesin-stimulated DNA synthesis. This treatment had essentially no effect on the mitogenic responses to either platelet-derived growth factor or phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate. These results suggest that the mitogenic actions of bombesin-like growth factors are mediated through a pertussis toxin-sensitive guanine nucleotide-binding protein. Furthermore they indicate that bombesin-like growth factors act through pathways that are different from those activated by platelet-derived growth factor.