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DNMT3a promotes proliferation by activating the STAT3 signaling pathway and depressing apoptosis in pancreatic cancer

Authors Jing W, Song N, Liu YP, Qu XJ, Qi YF, Li C, Hou KZ, Che XF, Yang XH

Received 15 January 2019

Accepted for publication 9 May 2019

Published 10 July 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 6379—6396


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Nakshatri

Wei Jing,1 Na Song,2,3 Yun-Peng Liu,2,3 Xiu-Juan Qu,2,3 Ya-Fei Qi,4 Ce Li,2,3 Ke-Zuo Hou,2,3 Xiao-Fang Che,2,3 Xiang-Hong Yang4

1The First Department of Oncology, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Medical Oncology, The First Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, People’s Republic of China; 3Key Laboratory of Anticancer Drugs and Biotherapy of Liaoning Province, The First Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, People’s Republic of China; 4Department of Pathology, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, People’s Republic of China

Background: Although aberrant DNA methyltransferase 3a (DNMT3a) expression is important to the tumorigenesis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the role of DNMT3a in PDAC prognosis is not clarified yet due to the limited studies and lacking of underlying molecular mechanism.
Methods: The expression of DNMT3a was examined by immunohistochemistry in PDAC tissues. Gene expression profiles assays were conducted to explore the impact of DNMT3a on biological processes and signal pathways. Cell cycle and apoptosis were measured by flow cytometry. Western blotting and real-time qPCR assays were used to explore the impact of DNMT3a on expression of protein and mRNA related to cell cycle, STAT3 signaling pathway and apoptosis.
Results: DNMT3a was overexpressed and closely associated with poor outcomes of PDAC. DNMT3a knockdown restrained PDAC cell proliferation, induced cell cycle arrest and promoted apoptosis in vitro. Affymetrix GeneChip Human Transcriptome Array identified that the cell cycle-related process was most significantly associated with DNMT3a. DNMT3a knockdown induced G1-S phase transition arrest by decreasing the expression of cyclin D1, which was mediated by the reduction of IL8 and the subsequent inactivation of STAT3 signaling pathway. Furthermore, exogenous apoptosis was also promoted after DNMT3a knockdown, probably via up-regulation of DNA transcription and expression in CASP8.
Conclusion: These findings indicate that DNMT3a plays an important role in PDAC progression. DNMT3a may serve as a prognostic biomarker and a therapeutic strategy candidate in PDAC.

Keywords: DNA methyltransferase 3a, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, prognosis, proliferation

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