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Role of Muscarinic Acetylcholine Signaling in Gastrointestinal Cancers

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 1138655, Japan
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biomedicines 2019, 7(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines7030058
Received: 10 July 2019 / Revised: 30 July 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 10 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gastric Cancer Research: From Basic Science to the Clinic)
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Abstract

In the tumor microenvironment, various stromal and immune cells accumulate and interact with cancer cells to contribute to tumor progression. Among stromal players, nerves have recently been recognized as key regulators of tumor growth. More neurotransmitters, such as catecholamines and acetylcholine (ACh), are present in tumors, as the cells that secrete neurotransmitters accumulate by the release of neurotrophic factors from cancer cells. In this short review, we focus on the role of nerve signaling in gastrointestinal (GI) cancers. Given that muscarinic acetylcholine receptor signaling seems to be a dominant regulator of GI stem cells and cancers, we review the function and mechanism of the muscarinic ACh pathway as a regulator of GI cancer progression. Accumulating evidence suggests that ACh, which is secreted from nerves and tuft cells, stimulates GI epithelial stem cells and contributes to cancer progression via muscarinic receptors. View Full-Text
Keywords: muscarinic acetylcholine receptor; tuft cell; gastric cancer; colon cancer muscarinic acetylcholine receptor; tuft cell; gastric cancer; colon cancer
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Konishi, M.; Hayakawa, Y.; Koike, K. Role of Muscarinic Acetylcholine Signaling in Gastrointestinal Cancers. Biomedicines 2019, 7, 58.

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