Somatostatin stimulates menin gene expression by inhibiting protein kinase A

Edith Mensah-Osman, Yana Zavros, Juanita L. Merchant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Somatostatin is a potent inhibitor of gastrin secretion and gene expression. Menin is a 67-kDa protein product of the multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) gene that when mutated leads to duodenal gastrinomas, a tumor that overproduces the hormone gastrin. These observations suggest that menin might normally inhibit gastrin gene expression in its role as a tumor suppressor. Since somatostatin and ostensibly menin are both inhibitors of gastrin, we hypothesized that somatostatin signaling directly induces menin. Menin protein expression was significantly lower in somatostatin-null mice, which are hypergastrinemic. We found by immunohistochemistry that somatostatin receptor-positive cells (SSTR2A) express menin. Mice were treated with the somatostatin analog octreotide to determine whether activation of somatostatin signaling induced menin. We found that octreotide increased the number of menin-expressing cells, menin mRNA, and menin protein expression. Moreover, the induction by octreotide was greater in the duodenum than in the antrum. The increase in menin observed in vivo was recapitulated by treating AGS and STC cell lines with octreotide, demonstrating that the regulation was direct. The induction required suppression of protein kinase A (PKA) since forskolin treatment suppressed menin protein levels and octreotide inhibited PKA enzyme activity. Small-interfering RNA-mediated suppression of PKA levels raised basal levels of menin protein and prevented further induction by octreotide. Using AGS cells, we also showed for the first time that menin directly inhibits endogenous gastrin gene expression. In conclusion, somatostatin receptor activation induces menin expression by suppressing PKA activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G843-G854
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Forskolin
  • Gastrin
  • MEN1
  • Octreotide
  • SSTR2A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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