Promotion of differentiation in human colon carcinoma cells by vasoactive intestinal polypeptide

Naseema M. Hoosein, Brad E. Black, Diane E. Brattain, Michael G. Brattain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The effects of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) and dibutyryl cyclic adenosine 3′:5′monophosphate (dbcAMP) on two human colon carcinoma cell lines, HCT 116 and GEO, were investigated. VIP and dbcAMP inhibited the growth of both cell lines in monolayer culture in a dose-dependent manner. Within 6 h of treatment with 1 mM dbcAMP or 0.3 μM VIP, numerous mucin-like droplets were secreted by GEO cells. VIP and dbcAMP also increased carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) secretion. In both cell lines, a 9-fold increase in conditioned medium CEA levels was observed at 1 mM dbcAMP and a 2.6-fold increase at 1.5 μM VIP. Time- and concentrationdependent evaluation in cAMP levels were elicited by VIP in the two cell lines. Immunocytochemical studies for cell-surface glycoprotein detection in GEO cells showed that VIP induced a morphological and functional organization of mucin-secreting cells. These results indicate that VIP and dbcAMP have antiproliferative and strong differentiation-promoting effects in colon cancer cells. This is the first report of VIP-induced mucin secretion in colon tumor cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-26
Number of pages12
JournalRegulatory Peptides
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenylate cyclase
  • Antiproliferative effect
  • Carcinoembryonic antigen
  • Dibutyril cyclic AMP
  • Mucin secretion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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