Gene Summary

Gene:PDX1; pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1
Aliases: GSF, IPF1, IUF1, IDX-1, MODY4, PDX-1, STF-1, PAGEN1
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a transcriptional activator of several genes, including insulin, somatostatin, glucokinase, islet amyloid polypeptide, and glucose transporter type 2. The encoded nuclear protein is involved in the early development of the pancreas and plays a major role in glucose-dependent regulation of insulin gene expression. Defects in this gene are a cause of pancreatic agenesis, which can lead to early-onset insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), as well as maturity onset diabetes of the young type 4 (MODY4). [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2017]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:pancreas/duodenum homeobox protein 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (23)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (2)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Messenger RNA
  • Metaplasia
  • Insulinoma
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • RNA Interference
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Pancreas
  • Mutation
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Signal Transduction
  • Precancerous Conditions
  • Promoter Regions
  • RAS Genes
  • Knockout Mice
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • Disease Progression
  • Ductan Pancreatic Carcinoma
  • DNA Methylation
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Cancer Stem Cells
  • Down-Regulation
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Tumor Burden
  • Chromosome 13
  • Stomach Cancer
  • ras Proteins
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Carcinoma in Situ
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Cell Proliferation
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: PDX1 (cancer-related)

Duarte-Medrano G, Lopez-Méndez I, Ramírez-Luna MÁ, et al.
Analysis of circulating blood and tissue biopsy PDX1 and MSX2 gene expression in patients with pancreatic cancer: A case-control experimental study.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2019; 98(26):e15954 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer (PC) is based on endoscopic ultrasound (EUS). However, EUS is invasive and requires a high level of technical skill. Recently, liquid biopsies have achieved the same sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of numerous pathologies, including cancer. Insulin-promoting factor 1 (PDX1) and Msh-homeobox 2 (MSX2), 2 homeotic genes, have been confirmed to be related to pancreatic oncogenesis.The aim of this study is to establish the diagnostic utility of circulating serum levels of MSX2 and PDX1 expression in patients with PC.A prospective study was conducted from January 2014 to February 2017. Patients with a suspected diagnosis of PC who underwent fine needle aspiration biopsy guided by EUS (EUS-FNA) were included in the study, in addition to non-PC control subjects. Both tissue and blood serum samples were submitted to histopathological analysis and measurement of PDX1 and MSX2 gene expression by means of qRT-PCR.Patients were divided into non-PC, malignant pathology (MP), or benign pathology (BP) groups. Significant differences in both MSX2 [2.05 (1.66-4.60) vs 0.83 (0.49-1.60), P = .006] and PDX1 [2.59 (1.28-10.12) vs 1.02 (0.81-1.17), P = .036] gene expression were found in blood samples of PC compared with non-PC subjects. We also observed a significant increase in MSX2 transcripts in tissue biopsy samples of patients diagnosed with MP compared with those with BP [1.98 (1.44-4.61) and 0.66 (0.45-1.54), respectively, P = .012]. The ROC curves indicate a sensitivity and specificity of 80% for PDX1 and 86% for MSX2.Gene expression of MSX2 in tissue samples obtained by EUS-FNA and serum expression of MSX2 and PDX1 were higher in patients with PC.

Iida-Norita R, Kawamura M, Suzuki Y, et al.
Vasohibin-2 plays an essential role in metastasis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
Cancer Sci. 2019; 110(7):2296-2308 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Vasohibin-2 (VASH2) is expressed in various cancers and promotes their progression. We recently reported that pancreatic cancer patients with higher VASH2 expression show poorer prognosis. Herein, we sought to characterize the role of VASH2 in pancreatic cancer. We used LSL-Kras

Kel A, Boyarskikh U, Stegmaier P, et al.
Walking pathways with positive feedback loops reveal DNA methylation biomarkers of colorectal cancer.
BMC Bioinformatics. 2019; 20(Suppl 4):119 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The search for molecular biomarkers of early-onset colorectal cancer (CRC) is an important but still quite challenging and unsolved task. Detection of CpG methylation in human DNA obtained from blood or stool has been proposed as a promising approach to a noninvasive early diagnosis of CRC. Thousands of abnormally methylated CpG positions in CRC genomes are often located in non-coding parts of genes. Novel bioinformatic methods are thus urgently needed for multi-omics data analysis to reveal causative biomarkers with a potential driver role in early stages of cancer.
METHODS: We have developed a method for finding potential causal relationships between epigenetic changes (DNA methylations) in gene regulatory regions that affect transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) and gene expression changes. This method also considers the topology of the involved signal transduction pathways and searches for positive feedback loops that may cause the carcinogenic aberrations in gene expression. We call this method "Walking pathways", since it searches for potential rewiring mechanisms in cancer pathways due to dynamic changes in the DNA methylation status of important gene regulatory regions ("epigenomic walking").
RESULTS: In this paper, we analysed an extensive collection of full genome gene-expression data (RNA-seq) and DNA methylation data of genomic CpG islands (using Illumina methylation arrays) generated from a sample of tumor and normal gut epithelial tissues of 300 patients with colorectal cancer (at different stages of the disease) (data generated in the EU-supported SysCol project). Identification of potential epigenetic biomarkers of DNA methylation was performed using the fully automatic multi-omics analysis web service "My Genome Enhancer" (MGE) (my-genome-enhancer.com). MGE uses the database on gene regulation TRANSFAC®, the signal transduction pathways database TRANSPATH®, and software that employs AI (artificial intelligence) methods for the analysis of cancer-specific enhancers.
CONCLUSIONS: The identified biomarkers underwent experimental testing on an independent set of blood samples from patients with colorectal cancer. As a result, using advanced methods of statistics and machine learning, a minimum set of 6 biomarkers was selected, which together achieve the best cancer detection potential. The markers include hypermethylated positions in regulatory regions of the following genes: CALCA, ENO1, MYC, PDX1, TCF7, ZNF43.

Jahan R, Ganguly K, Smith LM, et al.
Trefoil factor(s) and CA19.9: A promising panel for early detection of pancreatic cancer.
EBioMedicine. 2019; 42:375-385 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Trefoil factors (TFF1, TFF2, and TFF3) are small secretory molecules that recently have gained significant attention in multiple studies as an integral component of pancreatic cancer (PC) subtype-specific gene signature. Here, we comprehensively investigated the diagnostic potential of all the member of trefoil family, i.e., TFF1, TFF2, and TFF3 in combination with CA19.9 for detection of PC.
METHODS: Trefoil factors (TFFs) gene expression was analyzed in publicly available cancer genome datasets, followed by assessment of their expression in genetically engineered spontaneous mouse model (GEM) of PC (KrasG12D; Pdx1-Cre (KC)) and in human tissue microarray consisting of normal pancreas adjacent to tumor (NAT), precursor lesions (PanIN), and various pathological grades of PC by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Serum TFFs and CA19.9 levels were evaluated via ELISA in comprehensive sample set (n = 362) comprised of independent training and validation sets each containing benign controls (BC), chronic pancreatitis (CP), and various stages of PC. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression and receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC) were used to examine their diagnostic potential both alone and in combination with CA19.9.
FINDINGS: The publicly available datasets and expression analysis revealed significant increased expression of TFF1, TFF2, and TFF3 in human PanINs and PC tissues. Assessment of KC mouse model also suggested upregulated expression of TFFs in PanIN lesions and early stage of PC. In serum analyses studies, TFF1 and TFF2 were significantly elevated in early stages of PC in comparison to benign and CP control group while significant elevation in TFF3 levels were observed in CP group with no further elevation in its level in early stage PC group. In receiver operating curve (ROC) analyses, combination of TFFs with CA19.9 emerged as promising panel for discriminating early stage of PC (EPC) from BC (AUC
INTERPRETATION: In silico, tissue and serum analyses validated significantly increased level of all TFFs in precursor lesions and early stages of PC. The combination of TFFs enhanced sensitivity and specificity of CA19.9 to discriminate early stage of PC from benign control and chronic pancreatitis groups.

Haldeman JM, Conway AE, Arlotto ME, et al.
Creation of versatile cloning platforms for transgene expression and dCas9-based epigenome editing.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2019; 47(4):e23 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Genetic manipulation via transgene overexpression, RNAi, or Cas9-based methods is central to biomedical research. Unfortunately, use of these tools is often limited by vector options. We have created a modular platform (pMVP) that allows a gene of interest to be studied in the context of an array of promoters, epitope tags, conditional expression modalities, and fluorescent reporters, packaged in 35 custom destination vectors, including adenovirus, lentivirus, PiggyBac transposon, and Sleeping Beauty transposon, in aggregate >108,000 vector permutations. We also used pMVP to build an epigenetic engineering platform, pMAGIC, that packages multiple gRNAs and either Sa-dCas9 or x-dCas9(3.7) fused to one of five epigenetic modifiers. Importantly, via its compatibility with adenoviral vectors, pMAGIC uniquely enables use of dCas9/LSD1 fusions to interrogate enhancers within primary cells. To demonstrate this, we used pMAGIC to target Sa-dCas9/LSD1 and modify the epigenetic status of a conserved enhancer, resulting in altered expression of the homeobox transcription factor PDX1 and its target genes in pancreatic islets and insulinoma cells. In sum, the pMVP and pMAGIC systems empower researchers to rapidly generate purpose-built, customized vectors for manipulation of gene expression, including via targeted epigenetic modification of regulatory elements in a broad range of disease-relevant cell types.

Barkeer S, Chugh S, Karmakar S, et al.
Novel role of O-glycosyltransferases GALNT3 and B3GNT3 in the self-renewal of pancreatic cancer stem cells.
BMC Cancer. 2018; 18(1):1157 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Glycosylation plays a critical role in the aggressiveness of pancreatic cancer (PC). Emerging evidences indicate significant involvement of cancer stem cells (CSCs) in PC aggressiveness. However, the importance of glycosylation in pancreatic cancer stem cells (PCSCs) is yet to be addressed. Hence, we evaluated the potential role of glycosylation in maintenance of stemness of PCSCs.
METHODS: Effect of glycosylation specific inhibitors on growth and PCSCs of PC cells was assessed by MTT assay and Side Population (SP) analysis. Isolated PCSCs/SP were characterized using molecular and functional assays. Expression of tumor-associated carbohydrate antigens (TACAs) was analyzed in PCSCs by western blotting. Effect of tunicamycin on PCSCs was analyzed by tumorsphere, clonogenicity, migration assay and immunoblotting for CSCs markers. The differential expression of glycogenes in PCSCs compared to non-CSCs were determined by RT-qPCR, immunoblotting and immunofluorescence. Co-expression of GALNT3 and B3GNT3 with CD44v6 was assessed in progression stages of Kras
RESULTS: Inhibition of glycosylation decreased growth and CSCs/SP in PC cells. PCSCs overexpressed CSC markers (CD44v6, ESA, SOX2, SOX9 and ABCG2), exhibited global expressional variation of TACAs and showed higher self-renewal potential. Specifically, N-glycosylation inhibition, significantly decreased tumorsphere formation, migration, and clonogenicity of PCSCs, as well as hypo-glycosylated CD44v6 and ESA. Of note, glycosyltransferases (GFs), GALNT3 and B3GNT3, were significantly overexpressed in PCSCs and co-expressed with CD44v6 at advanced PDAC stages in KC and KPC tumors. Further, GALNT3 and B3GNT3 knockdown led to a decrease in the expression of cell surface markers (CD44v6 and ESA) and self-renewal markers (SOX2 and OCT3/4) in PCSCs. Interestingly, CD44v6 was modified with sialyl Lewis a in PCSCs. Finally, CRISPR/Cas9-mediated GALNT3 KO significantly decreased self-renewal, clonogenicity, and migratory capacity in PCSCs.
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, for the first time, our study showed the importance of glycosylation in mediating growth, stemness, and maintenance of PCSCs. These results indicate that elevated GALNT3 and B3GNT3 expression in PCSCs regulate stemness through modulating CSC markers.

Chan CS, Laddha SV, Lewis PW, et al.
ATRX, DAXX or MEN1 mutant pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors are a distinct alpha-cell signature subgroup.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):4158 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The commonly mutated genes in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNETs) are ATRX, DAXX, and MEN1. We genotyped 64 PanNETs and found 58% carry ATRX, DAXX, and MEN1 mutations (A-D-M mutant PanNETs) and this correlates with a worse clinical outcome than tumors carrying the wild-type alleles of all three genes (A-D-M WT PanNETs). We performed RNA sequencing and DNA-methylation analysis to reveal two distinct subgroups with one consisting entirely of A-D-M mutant PanNETs. Two genes differentiating A-D-M mutant from A-D-M WT PanNETs were high ARX and low PDX1 gene expression with PDX1 promoter hyper-methylation in the A-D-M mutant PanNETs. Moreover, A-D-M mutant PanNETs had a gene expression signature related to that of alpha-cells (FDR q-value < 0.009) of pancreatic islets including increased expression of HNF1A and its transcriptional target genes. This gene expression profile suggests that A-D-M mutant PanNETs originate from or transdifferentiate into a distinct cell type similar to alpha cells.

Ma J, Wang BB, Ma XY, et al.
Potential involvement of heat shock proteins in pancreatic-duodenal homeobox-1-mediated effects on the genesis of gastric cancer: A 2D gel-based proteomic study.
World J Gastroenterol. 2018; 24(37):4263-4271 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: To identify functional proteins involved in pancreatic-duodenal homeobox-1 (PDX1)-mediated effects on gastric carcinogenesis.
METHODS: A PDX1-overexpressed model was established by transfecting gastric cancer cell line SGC7901 with pcDNA3.1(+)-PDX1 vector (SGC-PDX1). Transfection with empty pcDNA3.1 vector (SGC-pcDNA) served as control. Comparative protein profiles of the two groups were analyzed by two-dimensional electrophoresis based-proteomics (2DE gel-based proteomics). The differential proteins identified by 2DE were further validated by qRT-PCR and immunoblotting. Finally, co-immunoprecipitation was used to determine any direct interactions between PDX1 and the differential proteins.
RESULTS: 2DE gel proteomics identified seven differential proteins in SGC-PDX1 when compared with those in SGC-pcDNA. These included four heat shock proteins (HSPs; HSP70p1B, HSP70p8, HSP60, HSP27) and three other proteins (ER60, laminin receptor 1, similar to epsilon isoform of 14-3-3 protein). Immunoblotting validated the expression of the HSPs (HSP70, HSP60, HSP27). Furthermore, their expressions were lowered to 80%, 20% and 24%, respectively, in SGC-PDX1, while PDX1 exhibited a 9-fold increase, compared to SGC-pcDNA. However, qRT-PCR analysis revealed that mRNA levels of the
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates the potential involvement of HSPs in PDX1-mediated effects on the genesis of gastric cancer.

Dugnani E, Sordi V, Pellegrini S, et al.
Gene expression analysis of embryonic pancreas development master regulators and terminal cell fate markers in resected pancreatic cancer: A correlation with clinical outcome.
Pancreatology. 2018; 18(8):945-953 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Despite the recent introduction of new drugs and the development of innovative multi-target treatments, the prognosis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains very poor. Even when PDAC is resectable, the rate of local or widespread disease recurrence remains particularly high. Currently, reliable prognostic biomarkers of recurrence are lacking. We decided to explore the potential usefulness of pancreatic developmental regulators as biomarkers of PDAC relapse.
METHODS: We analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR the mRNA of selected factors involved either in pancreatic organogenesis (ISL1, NEUROD1, NGN3, NKX2.2, NKX6.1, PAX4, PAX6, PDX1 and PTF1α) or associated with terminally committed pancreatic cells (CHGA, CHGB, GAD2, GCG, HNF6α, INS, KRT19, SYP) in 17 PDAC cell lines and in frozen tumor samples from 41 PDAC patients.
RESULTS: High baseline levels of the ISL1, KRT19, PAX6 and PDX1 mRNAs in PDAC cell lines, were risk factors for time-dependent xenograft appearance after subcutaneous injection in CD1-Nude mice. Consistently, in human PDAC samples, high levels of KRT19 mRNA were associated with reduced overall survival and earlier recurrence. Higher levels of PDX1 or PAX6 mRNAs were instead associated with a higher frequency of local recurrence.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that selected factors associated with pancreas development or its terminal differentiation might be implicated in mechanisms of PDAC progression and/or metastatic spread and that the measurement of their mRNA in tumors might be potentially used to improve patient prognostic stratification and prediction of the relapse site.

Edderkaoui M, Chheda C, Soufi B, et al.
An Inhibitor of GSK3B and HDACs Kills Pancreatic Cancer Cells and Slows Pancreatic Tumor Growth and Metastasis in Mice.
Gastroenterology. 2018; 155(6):1985-1998.e5 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Growth, progression, and drug resistance of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDACs) have been associated with increased levels and activity of glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3B) and histone deacetylases (HDACs). We designed and synthesized molecules that simultaneously inhibit the activities of both enzymes. We tested the effects of one of these molecules, Metavert, in pancreatic cancer cells and mice with pancreatic tumors.
METHODS: We tested the ability of Metavert to bind GSK3B and HDACs using surface plasmon resonance. MIA PaCa-2, Bx-PC3, HPAF-II, and HPDE6 cell lines were incubated with different concentrations of Metavert, with or without paclitaxel or gemcitabine, or with other inhibitors of GSK3B and HDACs; cells were analyzed for apoptosis and migration and by immunoblotting, immunofluorescence, and real-time polymerase chain reaction. Krasþ/LSLG12D;Trp53þ/LSLR172H;Pdx-1-Cre (KPC) mice (2 months old) were given injections of Metavert (5 mg/kg, 3 times/week) or vehicle (control). B6.129J mice with tumors grown from UN-KPC961-Luc cells were given injections of Metavert or vehicle. Tumors and metastases were counted and pancreata were analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Glucose metabolism was measured using 13C-glucose tracer and mass spectroscopy and flow cytometry. Cytokine levels in blood samples were measured using multiplexing enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
RESULTS: Metavert significantly reduced survival of PDAC cells but not nontransformed cells; the agent reduced markers of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and stem cells in PDAC cell lines. Cells incubated with Metavert in combination with irradiation and paclitaxel or gemcitabine had reduced survival compared with cells incubated with either agent alone; Metavert increased killing of drug-resistant PDAC cells by paclitaxel and gemcitabine. PDAC cells incubated with Metavert acquired normalized glucose metabolism. Administration of Metavert (alone or in combination with gemcitibine) to KPC mice or mice with syngeneic tumors significantly increased their survival times, slowed tumor growth, prevented tumor metastasis, decreased tumor infiltration by tumor-associated macrophages, and decreased blood levels of cytokines.
CONCLUSIONS: In studies of PDAC cells and 2 mouse models of PDAC, we found a dual inhibitor of GSK3B and HDACs (Metavert) to induce cancer cell apoptosis, reduce migration and expression of stem cell markers, and slow growth of tumors and metastases. Metavert had synergistic effects with gemcitabine.

Chugh S, Barkeer S, Rachagani S, et al.
Disruption of C1galt1 Gene Promotes Development and Metastasis of Pancreatic Adenocarcinomas in Mice.
Gastroenterology. 2018; 155(5):1608-1624 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDACs) produce higher levels of truncated O-glycan structures (such as Tn and sTn) than normal pancreata. Dysregulated activity of core 1 synthase glycoprotein-N-acetylgalactosamine 3-β-galactosyltransferase 1 (C1GALT1) leads to increased expression of these truncated O-glycans. We investigated whether and how truncated O-glycans contributes to the development and progression of PDAC using mice with disruption of C1galt1.
METHODS: We crossed C1galt1 floxed mice (C1galt1
RESULTS: KPCC mice had significantly shorter survival times (median 102 days) than KPC mice (median 200 days) and developed early pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasias at 3 weeks, PDAC at 5 weeks, and metastasis at 10 weeks compared with KPC mice. Pancreatic tumors that developed in KPCC mice were more aggressive (more invasive and metastases) than those in KPC mice, had a decreased amount of stroma, and had increased production of Tn. Poorly differentiated PDAC specimens had significantly lower levels of C1GALT1 than well-differentiated PDACs. Human PDAC cells with knockout of C1GALT1 had aberrant glycosylation of MUC16 compared with control cells and increased expression of genes that regulate tumorigenesis and metastasis.
CONCLUSIONS: In studies of KPC mice with disruption of C1galt1, we found that loss of C1galt1 promotes development of aggressive PDACs and increased metastasis. Knockout of C1galt1 leads to increased tumorigenicity and truncation of O-glycosylation on MUC16, which could contribute to increased aggressiveness.

Cao XY, Zhang XX, Yang MW, et al.
Aberrant upregulation of KLK10 promotes metastasis via enhancement of EMT and FAK/SRC/ERK axis in PDAC.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018; 499(3):584-593 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (PADC) metastasis is the leading cause of morality of this severe malignant tumor. Proteases are key players in the degradation of extracellular matrix which promotes the cascade of tumor metastasis. As a kind of serine proteases, the kallikrein family performs vital function on the cancer proteolysis scene, which have been proved in diverse malignant tumors. However, the specific member of kallikrein family and its function in PDAC remain unexplored. In this study, by data mining of GEO datasets, we have identified KLK10 is upregulated gene in PDAC. We found that KLK10 was significantly overexpressed in tissues of pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) and PDAC from Pdx1-Cre; LSL-Kras

Zhang Y, Zoltan M, Riquelme E, et al.
Immune Cell Production of Interleukin 17 Induces Stem Cell Features of Pancreatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia Cells.
Gastroenterology. 2018; 155(1):210-223.e3 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Little is known about how the immune system affects stem cell features of pancreatic cancer cells. Immune cells that produce interleukin 17A (IL17A) in the chronically inflamed pancreas (chronic pancreatitis) contribute to pancreatic interepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) initiation and progression. We investigated the effects that IL17A signaling exerts on pancreatic cancer progenitor cells and the clinical relevance of this phenomena.
METHODS: We performed studies with Mist1Cre;LSLKras;Rosa26mTmG (KC
RESULTS: PanIN cells from KC
CONCLUSIONS: In studies of mouse and human pancreatic tumors and precursors, we found that immune cell-derived IL17 regulated development of tuft cells and stem cell features of pancreatic cancer cells via increased expression of DCLK1, POU2F3, ALDH1A1, and IL17RC. Strategies to disrupt this pathway might be developed to prevent pancreatic tumor growth and progression.

Gu J, Saiyin H, Fu D, Li J
Stroma - A Double-Edged Sword in Pancreatic Cancer: A Lesson From Targeting Stroma in Pancreatic Cancer With Hedgehog Signaling Inhibitors.
Pancreas. 2018; 47(4):382-389 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer is a uniformly lethal malignancy with an abundant dense desmoplastic stroma. Because of its dense stroma, conventional drugs were considered to not penetrate this physical barrier, and this caused a systemic drug resistance. Thus, abolishing this barrier with targeted agents is considered to improve the efficiency of chemotherapeutic treatment. The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway is a critical regulator of pancreas development and plays diversified roles in pancreatic cancer stroma and neoplastic cells. Increasing Hh expression in neoplastic cells added desmoplastic stroma accumulation in orthotopic tumors, and Hh inhibitors that target the stroma have an ability to prolong the overall survival of Pdx-1-Cre/KrasG12D/p53R172H mice models via deleting the stromal components and increasing vascularity in pancreatic tumor. However, the failure of translation from bench to bedside indicate the complexity of the relationship between Hh signaling and desmoplastic stroma, and more insights into the complex relationships between Hh signaling pathway and stroma, even tumor cells, might help redesign Hh-targeted therapy. In this review, we discuss the possible mechanism of translation of Hh inhibitor in the clinic from pathology to molecular mechanism.

Fendrich V, Jendryschek F, Beeck S, et al.
Genetic and pharmacologic abrogation of Snail1 inhibits acinar-to-ductal metaplasia in precursor lesions of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and pancreatic injury.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(14):1845-1856 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer (PDAC) is one of the most dismal of human malignancies. Inhibiting or delaying the progression of precursor lesions of PDAC, pancreatic intraepthial neoplasia (PanINs), to invasive cancer, would be a major step. In the present study, we used a transgenic murine model of pancreatic cancer to evaluate the impact of a conditional knockout of the transcription factor Snail1, a major factor in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, on acinar-to-ductal formation and on PanIN progression. By interbreeding conditional LsL-Snail

Niavarani A, Shahrabi Farahani A, Sharafkhah M, Rassoulzadegan M
Pancancer analysis identifies prognostic high-APOBEC1 expression level implicated in cancer in-frame insertions and deletions.
Carcinogenesis. 2018; 39(3):327-335 [PubMed] Related Publications
Genome insertions and deletions (indels) show tremendous functional impacts despite they are much less common than single nucleotide variants, which are at the center of studies assessing cancer mutational signatures. We studied 8891 tumor samples of 32 types from The Cancer Genome Atlas in order to explore those genes which are potentially implicated in cancer indels. Survival analysis identified in-frame indels as the most important variants predicting adverse outcome. Transcriptome-wide association study identified 16 genes overexpressed in both tumor samples and tumor types with high number of in-frame indels, of whom four (APOBEC1, BCL2L15, FOXL1 and PDX1) were identified with gene products distributed within the nucleus. APOBEC1 emerged as the mere consistently hypomethylated gene in tumor samples with high number of in-frame indels. The correlation of APOBEC1 expression levels with cancer indels was independent of age and defects in DNA homologous recombination (HR) and/or mismatch repair. Unlike frame-shift indels, triplet repeat motifs were found to occur frequently at in-frame indel sites. The splicing variant 3, making a shorter isoform b, showed essentially all the same indel correlations as of APOBEC1. Expression levels of both APOBEC1 and variant 3 were found to be predicting adverse prognosis independent of DNA HR and mismatch repair. Not less importantly, high level of variant 3 in paired normal tissues was also proved to predict cancer outcome. Our findings propose APOBEC1 and isoform b as the potential endogenous mutators implicated in cancer in-frame indels and pave the way for their use as novel prognostic tumor markers.

Liu SH, Yu J, Sanchez R, et al.
A novel synthetic human insulin super promoter for targeting PDX-1-expressing pancreatic cancer.
Cancer Lett. 2018; 418:75-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
Our previous studies have shown that a rat insulin promoter II fragment (RIP) was used to effectively target pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and insulinoma that over-express pancreatic and duodenal homeobox-1 (PDX-1). To enhance the activity and specificity of the human insulin promoter, we engineered a synthetic human insulin super-promoter (SHIP). Reporter assay demonstrated that SHIP1 was the most powerful promoter among all of the SHIPs and had far greater activity than the endogenous human insulin promoters and RIP in PDAC expressing PDX-1. Over-expression, knockdown and competitive inhibition of PDX-1 expression assay proved that PDX-1 is a critical transcript factor to regulate the activity of SHIP1. SHIP1-driven viral thymidine kinase followed by ganciclovir (SHIP1-TK/GCV) resulted in cytotoxicity to PDAC cells in vitro. Systemic delivery of SHIP1-TK/GCV in PDAC xenograft mice significantly suppressed PANC-1 tumor growth in vivo greater than RIP-TK/GCV and CMV-TK/GCV controls (p < .05). These preclinical data suggest that SHIP1 is a powerful novel promoter that can be used to target human PDAC expressing PDX-1 in clinical trials. Furthermore, this novel strategy of engineering synthetic super-promoters could be used for other cancer targets.

Naqvi AAT, Hasan GM, Hassan MI
Investigating the role of transcription factors of pancreas development in pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatology. 2018; 18(2):184-190 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer (PC) is the seventh most common cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide that kills more than 300,000 people every year. Prognosis of PC is very poor with a five-year survival rate about 5%. The most common and highly observed type of PC is pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). It is preceded by the progression of precursor lesions such as Pancreatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia (PanIN), Intraductal Papillary Neoplasm (IPMN) and Mucinous Cystic Neoplasm (MCN). PanIN is the most common among these premalignant lesions. Genes orchestrating the origin and differentiation of cells during organogenesis have the tendency to produce tumor cells in response to activating or inactivating mutations. Based on the following premise, we discuss the role of transcription factors (TFs) of pancreas development and cell fate differentiation in PC. Pancreas/duodenum homeobox protein 1 (PDX1), Pancreas transcription factor 1 subunit alpha (PTF1A), Nuclear receptor subfamily 5 group A member 2 (NR5A2), Hepatocyte nuclear factor 1-alpha (HNF1A) and Hepatocyte nuclear factor 1-beta (HNF1B) play vital role in the development and differentiation of pancreatic precursor cells. Mutated KRAS induces abnormalities in the regular function of these TFs which in turn cause abnormal cell growth and proliferation that leads to cancer. Thus, these TFs are highly susceptible for the origin of PC. Therefore, we propose that these TFs can be treated as therapeutic targets for the development of anticancer drugs.

He P, Yang JW, Yang VW, Bialkowska AB
Krüppel-like Factor 5, Increased in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma, Promotes Proliferation, Acinar-to-Ductal Metaplasia, Pancreatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia, and Tumor Growth in Mice.
Gastroenterology. 2018; 154(5):1494-1508.e13 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Activating mutations in KRAS are detected in most pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDACs). Expression of an activated form of KRAS (KrasG12D) in pancreata of mice is sufficient to induce formation of pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanINs)-a precursor of PDAC. Pancreatitis increases formation of PanINs in mice that express KrasG12D by promoting acinar-to-ductal metaplasia (ADM). We investigated the role of the transcription factor Krüppel-like factor 5 (KLF5) in ADM and KRAS-mediated formation of PanINs.
METHODS: We performed studies in adult mice with conditional disruption of Klf5 (Klf5
RESULTS: Of the 96 PDAC samples analyzed, 73% were positive for KLF5 (defined as nuclear staining in more than 5% of tumor cells). Pancreata from Ptf1a-Cre
CONCLUSION: Levels of KLF5 are increased in human PDAC samples and in PanINs of Ptf1a-Cre

Song X, Zhu S, Xie Y, et al.
JTC801 Induces pH-dependent Death Specifically in Cancer Cells and Slows Growth of Tumors in Mice.
Gastroenterology. 2018; 154(5):1480-1493 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Maintenance of acid-base homeostasis is required for normal physiology, metabolism, and development. It is not clear how cell death is activated in response to changes in pH. We performed a screen to identify agents that induce cell death in a pH-dependent manner (we call this alkaliptosis) in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cancer (PDAC) cells and tested their effects in mice.
METHODS: We screened a library of 254 compounds that interact with G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) to identify those with cytotoxic activity against a human PDAC cell line (PANC1). We evaluated the ability of JTC801, which binds the opiod receptor and has analgesic effects, to stimulate cell death in human PDAC cell lines (PANC1, MiaPaCa2, CFPAC1, PANC2.03, BxPc3, and CAPAN2), mouse pancreatic cancer-associated stellate cell lines, primary human pancreatic ductal epithelial cells, and 60 cancer cell lines (the NCI-60 panel). Genes encoding proteins in cell death and GPCR signaling pathways, as well as those that regulate nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activity, were knocked out, knocked down, or expressed from transgenes in cancer cell lines. JTC801 was administered by gavage to mice with xenograft tumors, C57BL/6 mice with orthographic pancreatic tumors grown from Pdx1-Cre;KRas
RESULTS: Exposure of human PDAC cell lines (PANC1 and MiaPaCa2) to JTC801 did not induce molecular markers of apoptosis (cleavage of caspase 3 or poly [ADP ribose] polymerase [PARP]), necroptosis (interaction between receptor-interacting serine-threonine kinase 3 [RIPK3] and mixed lineage kinase domain like pseudokinase [MLKL]), or ferroptosis (degradation of glutathione peroxidase 4 [GPX4]). Inhibitors of apoptosis (Z-VAD-FMK), necroptosis (necrosulfonamide), ferroptosis (ferrostatin-1), or autophagy (hydroxychloroquine) did not prevent JTC801-induced death of PANC1 or MiaPaCa2 cells. The cytotoxic effects of JTC801 in immortalized fibroblast cell lines was not affected by disruption of genes that promote apoptosis (Bax
CONCLUSIONS: In a screen of agents that interact with GPCR pathways, we found JTC801 to induce pH-dependent cell death (alkaliptosis) specifically in cancer cells such as PDAC cells, by reducing expression of CA9. Levels of CA9 are increased in human cancer tissues. JTC801 might be developed for treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Jiang S, Zhu L, Yang J, et al.
Integrated expression profiling of potassium channels identifys KCNN4 as a prognostic biomarker of pancreatic cancer.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017; 494(1-2):113-119 [PubMed] Related Publications
Dysregulated potassium (K

Wu J, Xiao Y, Xia C, et al.
Identification of Biomarkers for Predicting Lymph Node Metastasis of Stomach Cancer Using Clinical DNA Methylation Data.
Dis Markers. 2017; 2017:5745724 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Lymph node (LN) metastasis was an independent risk factor for stomach cancer recurrence, and the presence of LN metastasis has great influence on the overall survival of stomach cancer patients. Thus, accurate prediction of the presence of lymph node metastasis can provide guarantee of credible prognosis evaluation of stomach cancer patients. Recently, increasing evidence demonstrated that the aberrant DNA methylation first appears before symptoms of the disease become clinically apparent.
OBJECTIVE: Selecting key biomarkers for LN metastasis presence prediction for stomach cancer using clinical DNA methylation based on a machine learning method.
METHODS: To reduce the overfitting risk of prediction task, we applied a three-step feature selection method according to the property of DNA methylation data.
RESULTS: The feature selection procedure extracted several cancer-related and lymph node metastasis-related genes, such as TP73, PDX1, FUT8, HOXD1, NMT1, and SEMA3E. The prediction performance was evaluated on the public DNA methylation dataset. The results showed that the three-step feature procedure can largely improve the prediction performance and implied the reliability of the biomarkers selected.
CONCLUSIONS: With the selected biomarkers, the prediction method can achieve higher accuracy in detecting LN metastasis and the results also proved the reliability of the selected biomarkers indirectly.

Vinogradova TV, Sverdlov ED
PDX1: A Unique Pancreatic Master Regulator Constantly Changes Its Functions during Embryonic Development and Progression of Pancreatic Cancer.
Biochemistry (Mosc). 2017; 82(8):887-893 [PubMed] Related Publications
Multifunctional activity of the PDX1 gene product is reviewed. The PDX1 protein is unique in that being expressed exclusively in the pancreas it exhibits various functional activities in this organ both during embryonic development and during induction and progression of pancreatic cancer. Hence, PDX1 belongs to the family of master regulators with multiple and often antagonistic functions.

Kondratyeva LG, Chernov IP, Zinovyeva MV, et al.
Expression of master regulatory genes of embryonic development in pancreatic tumors.
Dokl Biochem Biophys. 2017; 475(1):250-252 [PubMed] Related Publications
The expression level of some important master regulators of embryonic development of the pancreas in the tumor samples of this human organ was determined. We found that the transcription of SOX9, GATA4, PDX1, PTF1a, and HNF1b genes in the tumor samples was reduced as compared to the samples of normal pancreatic tissues, and the KLF5 gene expression in the tumor cells was elevated. We assume that all the studied genes, except KLF5, form a single regulatory module that supports the identity of tumor progenitor cells. A simultaneous suppression of expression of these master factors may be critical for the neoplastic transformation of pancreatic cells.

Kondratyeva LG, Didych DA, Chernov IP, et al.
Dependence of expression of regulatory master genes of embryonic development in pancreatic cancer cells on the intracellular concentration of the master regulator PDX1.
Dokl Biochem Biophys. 2017; 475(1):259-263 [PubMed] Related Publications
Exogenous expression of the gene encoding the pancreatic master regulator PDX1 in cell lines with different degrees of differentiation of pancreatic cancer cells is accompanied by changes in the expression of known master genes involved in cancer progression. In BxPC3

Benrick A, Chanclón B, Micallef P, et al.
Adiponectin protects against development of metabolic disturbances in a PCOS mouse model.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017; 114(34):E7187-E7196 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
Adiponectin, together with adipocyte size, is the strongest factor associated with insulin resistance in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This study investigates the causal relationship between adiponectin levels and metabolic and reproductive functions in PCOS. Prepubertal mice overexpressing adiponectin from adipose tissue (APNtg), adiponectin knockouts (APNko), and their wild-type (WT) littermate mice were continuously exposed to placebo or dihydrotestosterone (DHT) to induce PCOS-like traits. As expected, DHT exposure led to reproductive dysfunction, as judged by continuous anestrus, smaller ovaries with a decreased number of corpus luteum, and an increased number of cystic/atretic follicles. A two-way between-groups analysis showed that there was a significant main effect for DHT exposure, but not for genotype, indicating adiponectin does not influence follicle development. Adiponectin had, however, some protective effects on ovarian function. Similar to in many women with PCOS, DHT exposure led to reduced adiponectin levels, larger adipocyte size, and reduced insulin sensitivity in WTs. APNtg mice remained metabolically healthy despite DHT exposure, while APNko-DHT mice were even more insulin resistant than their DHT-exposed littermate WTs. DHT exposure also reduced the mRNA expression of genes involved in metabolic pathways in gonadal adipose tissue of WT and APNko, but this effect of DHT was not observed in APNtg mice. Moreover, APNtg-DHT mice displayed increased pancreatic mRNA levels of insulin receptors,

D'Costa Z, Jones K, Azad A, et al.
Gemcitabine-Induced TIMP1 Attenuates Therapy Response and Promotes Tumor Growth and Liver Metastasis in Pancreatic Cancer.
Cancer Res. 2017; 77(21):5952-5962 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gemcitabine constitutes one of the backbones for chemotherapy treatment in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), but patients often respond poorly to this agent. Molecular markers downstream of gemcitabine treatment in preclinical models may provide an insight into resistance mechanisms. Using cytokine arrays, we identified potential secretory biomarkers of gemcitabine resistance (response) in the transgenic KRasG12D; Trp53R172H; Pdx-1 Cre (KPC) mouse model of PDAC. We verified the oncogenic role of the cytokine tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases 1 (TIMP1) in primary pancreatic tumors and metastases using both

Xie Y, Zhu S, Zhong M, et al.
Inhibition of Aurora Kinase A Induces Necroptosis in Pancreatic Carcinoma.
Gastroenterology. 2017; 153(5):1429-1443.e5 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Induction of nonapoptotic cell death could be an approach to eliminate apoptosis-resistant tumors. We investigated necroptosis-based therapies in mouse models of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cancer (PDAC).
METHODS: We screened 273 commercially available kinase inhibitors for cytotoxicity against a human PDAC cell line (PANC1). We evaluated the ability of the aurora kinase inhibitor CCT137690 to stimulate necroptosis in PDAC cell lines (PANC1, PANC2.03, CFPAC1, MiaPaCa2, BxPc3, and PANC02) and the HEK293 cell line, measuring loss of plasma membrane integrity, gain in cell volume, swollen organelles, and cytoplasmic vacuoles. We tested the effects of CCT137690 in colon formation assays, and the effects of the necroptosis (necrostatin-1 and necrosulfonamide), apoptosis, autophagy, and ferroptosis inhibitors. We derived cells from tumors that developed in Pdx1-Cre;K-Ras
RESULTS: CCT137690 induced necrosis-like death in PDAC cell lines and reduced colony formation; these effects required RIPK1, RIPK3, and MLKL, as well as inhibition of aurora kinase A (AURKA). AURKA interacted directly with RIPK1 and RIPK3 to reduce necrosome activation. AURKA-mediated phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3β) at serine 9 inhibited activation of the RIPK3 and MLKL necrosome. Mutations in AURKA (D274A) or GSK3β (S9A), or pharmacologic inhibitors of RIPK1 signaling via RIPK3 and MLKL, reduced the cytotoxic activity of CCT137690 in PDAC cells. Oral administration of CCT137690 induced necroptosis and immunogenic cell death in subcutaneous and orthotopic tumors in mice, and reduced tumor growth and tumor cell phosphorylation of AURKA and GSK3β. CCT137690 increased survival times of mice with orthotopic KPC PDACs and reduced tumor growth, stroma, and metastasis. Increased expression of AURKA and GSK3β mRNAs associated with shorter survival times of patients with pancreatic cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: We identified the aurora kinase inhibitor CCT137690 as an agent that induces necrosis-like death in PDAC cells, via RIPK1, RIPK3, and MLKL. CCT137690 slowed growth of orthotopic tumors from PDAC cells in mice, and expression of AURKA and GSK3β associate with patient survival times. AURKA might be targeted for treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Berthelsen MF, Callesen MM, Østergaard TS, et al.
Pancreas specific expression of oncogenes in a porcine model.
Transgenic Res. 2017; 26(5):603-612 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading course of cancer death and early detection of the disease is crucial for successful treatment. However, pancreatic cancer is difficult to detect in its earliest stages and once symptoms appear, the cancer has often progressed beyond possibility for curing. Research into the disease has been hampered by the lack of good models. We have generated a porcine model of pancreatic cancer with use of transgenic overexpression of an oncogene cassette containing MYC, KRAS

López JI, Angulo JC, Martín A, et al.
A DNA hypermethylation profile reveals new potential biomarkers for the evaluation of prognosis in urothelial bladder cancer.
APMIS. 2017; 125(9):787-796 [PubMed] Related Publications
DNA hypermethylation has emerged as a molecular biomarker for the evaluation of cancer diagnosis and prognosis. We define a methylation signature of bladder cancer and evaluate whether this profile assesses prognosis of patients. Genome-wide methylation analysis was performed on 70 tumor and 10 normal bladder samples. Hypermethylation status of 1505 CpGs present in the promoter region of 807 genes was studied. Thirty-three genes were significantly hypermethylated in ≥10% of the tumors. Three clusters of patients were characterized by their DNA methylation profile, one at higher risk of dead of disease (p = 0.0012). Association between cluster distribution and stage (p = 0.02) or grade (p = 0.02) was demonstrated. Hypermethylation of JAK3 and absence of hypermethylation of EYA4, GAT6, and SOX1 were associated with low-grade non-invasive disease. On the other hand, in high-grade invasive disease hypermethylation of CSPG2, HOXA11, HOXA9, HS3ST2, SOX1, and TWIST1 was associated with muscle invasiveness. A panel of hypermethylated genes including APC, CSPG2, EPHA5, EYA4, HOXA9, IPF1, ISL1, JAK3, PITX2, SOX1, and TWIST1 predicted cancer-specific survival and SOX1 (HR = 3.46), PITX2 (HR = 4.17), CSPG2 (HR = 5.35), and JAK3 hypermethylation (HR = 0.19) did so independently. Silencing of genes by hypermethylation is a common event in bladder cancer and could be used to develop diagnostic and prognostic markers. Combined hypermethylation of SOX1, PITX2, or CSPG2 signals patients at higher risk of death from bladder cancer.

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