Neurokinin 1 Receptor: Implications in Tumor Suppression

Thu, 11/07/2013 - 15:09

The neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1), commonly referred to as tachykinin receptor 1, is a 401 amino acid, 46 kDA protein encoded by the TACR1 gene localized on chromosome 2 (2p13.1-p12). It is a member of the tachykinin receptor gene family (including NK2 Receptor and NK3 Receptor) which is involved in the activation of phospholipase C, interactions with G proteins, and functioning in multiple hydrophobic transmembrane regions. NK1 is highly prevalent in the central nervous system (CNS), specifically in the amygdala, striatum, peripheral tissues, and some hypothalamic and thalamic nuclei. It functions in association with specific G proteins, acting in a phosphatidylinositol-calcium second messenger system as well as operating in the regulation of phosphatidylinositol metabolism of Substance P (SP).  In doing so, NK1 mediates central stress reactions, mood control, excitatory neurotransmission, lung function, and airway modulation. NK1 antagonists are potent therapeutics for treating depression, anxiety, as well as nausea.

Immunocytochemistry/Immunofluorescence: Neurokinin 1 Receptor Antibody Immunocytochemistry/Immunofluorescence: Neurokinin 1 Receptor Antibody

The relationship between NK1 and SP is particularly interesting as researchers have recently found that interactions between NK1 and SP may be important in the progression of cancer as SP is located throughout the whole body. When bound to NK1, it may regulate various biological functions related to cancer such including anti-apoptotic effects, angiogenesis, encouraging tumor growth, and migration of the tumor cells for invasion and metastasis. Overexpression of NK1 receptors in tumors makes these effects exponentially greater. Accordingly, NK1 antagonists inhibit tumor cell proliferation, angiogenesis, and the migration of the tumor cells, and thus could be very helpful in reducing cancer development. The NK1 receptor represents a promising target in the treatment of cancer as NK1 antagonists may function as broad-spectrum anti-tumoral agents.

  1. PMID: 21034671

Written by: Kelsey Repine

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