Gastrin: From Physiology to Gastrointestinal Malignancies

Suzann Duan, Karen Rico, Juanita L. Merchant

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Abetted by widespread usage of acid-suppressing proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), the mitogenic actions of the peptide hormone gastrin are being revisited as a recurring theme in various gastrointestinal (GI) malignancies. While pathological gastrin levels are intricately linked to hyperplasia of enterochromaffin-like cells leading to carcinoid development, the signaling effects exerted by gastrin on distinct cell types of the gastric mucosa are more nuanced. Indeed, mounting evidence suggests dichotomous roles for gastrin in both promoting and suppressing tumorigenesis. Here, we review the major upstream mediators of gastrin gene regulation, including inflammation secondary to Helicobacter pylori infection and the use of PPIs. We further explore the molecular biology of gastrin in GI malignancies, with particular emphasis on the regulation of gastrin in neuroendocrine neoplasms. Finally, we highlight tissue-specific transcriptional targets as an avenue for targetable therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberzqab062
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • G-cell
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • MEN1
  • gastrinoma
  • hypergastrinemia
  • neuroendocrine tumor
  • somatostatin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Physiology


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