Early Detection Research Network

MUC4 down-regulation reverses chemoresistance of pancreatic cancer stem/progenitor cells and their progenies.

The present study was undertaken to estimate the therapeutic benefit to down-regulate the MUC4 mucin for reversing chemoresistance of pancreatic cancer (PC) stem/progenitor cells and their progenies. The results have revealed that MUC4 mucin is overexpressed in CD133(+) and CD133(-) pancreatic cells (PCs) detected in patient's adenocarcinoma tissues while no significant expression was seen in normal pancreatic tissues. The gain- and loss-of-function analyses have indicated that the overexpression of MUC4 in PC lines is associated with a higher resistance to the anti-proliferative, anti-invasive and apoptotic effects induced by gemcitabine. Importantly, the treatment of the MUC4-overexpressing CD18/HPAF-Src cells with gemcitabine resulted in an enrichment of the side population (SP) cells expressing CD133 while the total PC cells including non-SP cells detected in MUC4 knockdown CD18/HPAF-shMUC4 cells were responsive to the cytotoxic effects induced by gemcitabine. These data suggest that the MUC4 down-regulation may constitute a potential therapeutic strategy for improving the efficacy of gemcitabine to eradicate the total PC cell mass, and thereby preventing disease relapse.

Batra SK, Chakraborty S, Johansson SL, Mimeault M, Momi N, Senapati S

20303649

Cancer Lett., 2010, 295 (1)