Successful colorectal cancer (CRC) therapy often depends on the accurate identification of primary tumours with invasive potential. There is still a lack of identified pathological factors associated with disease recurrence that could help in making treatment decisions. Neuromedin U (NMU) is a secretory neuropeptide that was first isolated from the porcine spinal cord, and it has emerged as a novel factor involved in the tumorigenesis and/or metastasis of many types of cancers. Previously associated with processes leading to CRC cell invasiveness, NMU has the potential to be a marker of poor outcome, but it has not been extensively studied in CRC.
Our results show the ability of CRC cells to respond to NMU via activation of the NMUR2 receptor, which ultimately leads to a shift in the CRC phenotype towards a more invasive phenotype.
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