PGs (prostaglandins) are synthesized through the cyclo-oxygenase (COX-1 and -2) pathway in a variety of cells in response to various physiological stimuli. All cells require at least one pathway for apoptosis, and mitochondrial play a central role in regulation of apoptosis. In a previous study, incubation of A549 cells with NS-398 (a COX-2-specific inhibitor) induced apoptosis and inhibited cell proliferation, and the concentrations of different PGs between various cellular compartments were found to be changed. To determine whether PG receptors are involved in this regulation, Western-blot analyses were performed specific for PGE2 (EP receptors) and PGF (FP receptor) receptors, which were expressed in A549 cells. Western-blot analysis revealed that mitochondria that were isolated from A549 cells expressed EP receptors (EP2, EP3 and EP4), whereas FP receptors were undetectable. EP receptors (EP1, EP3 and EP4) and FP receptors were detected from A549 cell membrane. These results suggest that the change of PG production in A549-cells-induced cancer cell apoptosis might be related to the different expressions of EP and FP receptors in cell and mitochondrial membrane.

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