The calcium-sensing receptor (CaR) is responsible for the regulation of extracellular calcium (Ca2+ o) homeostasis. CaR activation has been shown to increase proliferation in several cancer cell lines; however, its presence or function has never been documented in lung cancer. We report that Ca2+ o-activated CaR results in MAPK-mediated stimulation of parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) production in human lung squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) lines and humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy (HHM) in vivo. Furthermore, a single ucleotide polymorphism in CaR identified from a hypercalcemia-inducing lung SCC reduced the receptor's activation threshold leading to increased PTHrP expression and secretion. Increasing the expression of either wild-type CaR or a CaR variant with a single nucleotide polymorphism in the cytoplasmic domain was both necessary and sufficient for lung SCC to induce HHM. Because lung cancer patients who frequently develop HHM and PTHrP expression in lung cancer has been only partially explained, the significance of our findings indicates that CaR variants may provide a positive feedback between PTHrP and calcium and result in the syndrome of HHM.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research