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Critical analysis of the potential for the therapeutic targeting of the Sp1 transcription factor in pancreatic cancer

Authors Jutooru I, Chadalapaka G, Safe S

Received 8 March 2014

Accepted for publication 4 April 2014

Published 17 June 2014 Volume 2014:4 Pages 65—74


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Indira Jutooru,1 Gayathri Chadalapaka,1 Stephen Safe1,2

1Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA; 2Institute of Biosciences and Technology, Texas A&M Health Science Center, Houston, TX, USA

Abstract: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a major cause of cancer-related deaths in developed countries and, in 2013, it is estimated that in excess of 45,220 new cases were diagnosed in the United States. PDAC is a highly aggressive disease that invariably evades early diagnosis. The mean survival time for patients with metastatic disease is only 3–6 months, and only 20%–30% of pancreatic cancer patients are alive after 12 months. Because pancreatic cancers are frequently detected at an advanced stage, treatments have provided very limited improvements in tumor regression and overall survival times after diagnosis. 5-Fluorouracil alone or in combination with other drugs has been extensively used for treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer, and gemcitabine has partially replaced 5-fluorouracil as a treatment for pancreatic cancer. Gemcitabine provides increased clinical benefits in terms of response rate; however, future studies need to focus on developing treatment modalities that will improve the survival rate for pancreatic cancer patients. Specificity protein 1 (Sp1) is overexpressed in PDAC patients, and high expression is associated with poor prognosis, lymph node metastasis, and low survival. Knockdown studies have shown that Sp1 plays an important role in cell growth, angiogenesis, inflammation, survival, and metastasis. Sp1 expression is low in normal tissue when compared to tumor tissue, which makes Sp1 a potential target for development of new mechanism-based drugs for treatment of pancreatic cancer. Several drugs such as tolfenamic acid, betulinic acid, and methyl-2-cyano3,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oate are shown to downregulate Sp1 expression through various pathways. This review summarizes the role of Sp1 in pancreatic cancer and delineates the mechanisms of action of various drugs that downregulate expression of Sp1 and other Sp transcription factors.

Keywords: Sp transcription factors, microRNAs, ZBTB repressors, ROS

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