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PDX1, a key factor in pancreatic embryogenesis, can exhibit antimetastatic activity in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Authors Kondratyeva LG, Safina DR, Chernov IP, Kopantzev EP, Kostrov SV, Sverdlov ED

Received 25 March 2019

Accepted for publication 25 June 2019

Published 26 July 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 7077—7087


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Chien-Feng Li

Liya G Kondratyeva,1,* Dina R Safina,2,* Igor P Chernov,1 Eugene P Kopantzev,1 Sergey V Kostrov,2 Eugene D Sverdlov1,2

1Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia; 2Institute of Molecular Genetics Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: In cancer biology, metastasizing is one of the most poorly studied processes. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is characterized by early metastasis, which is the leading cause of death. The PDX1 protein is crucial for the development of cancer, and its low levels are characteristic of the most aggressive PDAC tumors. The PDX1 is a mediator of initiation and progression of PDAC. However, further studies are needed to elucidate the role of PDX1 in the cancer metastasis.
Purpose: To confirm the hypothesis that PDX1 in PDAC plays suppressor role of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), and to study its possible ability to inhibit metastasis.
Methods: A PDX1-overexpressing PDAC cell line was obtained by lentiviral transduction of PANC-1 cells. PDX1 overexpression was confirmed by RT-PCR and Western blotting. Effects of PDX1 ectopic expression on cell proliferation and motility were determined in PANC-1 cells using MTS, cell cycle analysis, transwell and wound-healing assay. EMT genes expression was analyzed in PDX1-overexpressing and Control PANC-1. Finally, the migration potential of pancreatic cancer cells expressing PDX1 was evaluated using a zebrafish embryo model.
Results: The motility of human PDAC cells PANC-1 considerably decreased at ectopic expression of PDX1. The decreased expression of ZEB1, the key factor of EMT, and almost unchanged expression of the genes that characterize the epithelial state suggest a decrease in the EMT ability. Suppression of PDX1 expression by siRNA knockdown restored the PANC1 motility.
Conclusion: The results obtained suggest a possible therapeutic use of PDX1 delivery into PDAC patients with a reduced or absent expression of PDX1 in the most aggressive tumors.

Keywords: metastasis, PDAC, PDX1, epithelial–mesenchymal transition, Danio rerio

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