Carboxypeptidase E promotes cancer cell survival, but inhibits migration and invasion

Saravana R.K. Murthy, Evan Dupart, Najla Al-Sweel, Alexander Chen, Niamh X. Cawley, Y. Peng Loh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Carboxypeptidase E (CPE), a prohormone processing enzyme is highly expressed and secreted from (neuro)endocrine tumors and gliomas, and has been implicated in cancer progression by promoting tumor growth. Our study demonstrates that secreted or exogenously applied CPE promotes survival of pheochromocytoma (PC12) and hepatocellular carcinoma (MHCC97H) cells under nutrient starvation and hypoxic conditions, but had no effect on their proliferation. CPE also reduced migration and invasion of fibrosarcoma (HT1080) cells. We show that CPE treatment mediates survival of MHCC97H cells during metabolic stress by up-regulating the expression of anti-apoptotic protein BCL-2, and other pro-survival genes, via activation of the ERK1/2 pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-213
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013


  • Cell invasion
  • Cell survival
  • Fibrosarcoma
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Pheochromocytoma


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