Pancreatic Cancer Unit

Concord, MD, United States

Pancreatic Cancer Unit

Concord, MD, United States
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Wang J.,Pancreatic Cancer Unit | He P.,Pancreatic Cancer Unit | Gaida M.,University of Heidelberg | Yang S.,Pancreatic Cancer Unit | And 11 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2016

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal malignancies and is refractory to the available treatments. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) expresses high level of inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS2), which causes sustained production of nitric oxide (NO). We tested the hypothesis that an aberrantly increased NO-release enhances the development and progression of PDAC. Enhanced NOS2 expression in tumors significantly associated with poor survival in PDAC patients (N = 107) with validation in independent cohorts. We then genetically targeted NOS2 in an autochthonous mouse model of PDAC to examine the effect of NOS2-deficiency on disease progression and survival. Genetic ablation of NOS2 significantly prolonged survival and reduced tumor severity in LSL-KrasG12D/+; LSL-Trp53R172H/+; Pdx-1-Cre (KPC) mice. Primary tumor cells isolated from NOS2-deficient KPC (NKPC) mice showed decreased proliferation and invasiveness as compared to those from KPC mice. Furthermore, NKPC tumors showed reduced expression of pERK, a diminished inactivation of Forkhead box transcription factor O (FOXO3), a tumor suppressor, and a decrease in the expression of oncomir-21, when compared with tumors in KPC mice. Taken together, these findings showed that NOS2 is a predictor of prognosis in early stage, resected PDAC patients, and provide proof-of-principle that targeting NOS2 may have potential therapeutic value in this lethal malignancy.


PubMed | Cancer and Inflammation Program, Pancreatic Cancer Unit, University of Maryland Baltimore County, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and 4 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Oncotarget | Year: 2016

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal malignancies and is refractory to the available treatments. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) expresses high level of inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS2), which causes sustained production of nitric oxide (NO). We tested the hypothesis that an aberrantly increased NO-release enhances the development and progression of PDAC. Enhanced NOS2 expression in tumors significantly associated with poor survival in PDAC patients (N = 107) with validation in independent cohorts. We then genetically targeted NOS2 in an autochthonous mouse model of PDAC to examine the effect of NOS2-deficiency on disease progression and survival. Genetic ablation of NOS2 significantly prolonged survival and reduced tumor severity in LSL-KrasG12D/+; LSL-Trp53R172H/+; Pdx-1-Cre (KPC) mice. Primary tumor cells isolated from NOS2-deficient KPC (NKPC) mice showed decreased proliferation and invasiveness as compared to those from KPC mice. Furthermore, NKPC tumors showed reduced expression of pERK, a diminished inactivation of Forkhead box transcription factor O (FOXO3), a tumor suppressor, and a decrease in the expression of oncomir-21, when compared with tumors in KPC mice. Taken together, these findings showed that NOS2 is a predictor of prognosis in early stage, resected PDAC patients, and provide proof-of-principle that targeting NOS2 may have potential therapeutic value in this lethal malignancy.


Zhang G.,Pancreatic Cancer Unit | He P.,Pancreatic Cancer Unit | Tan H.,Pancreatic Cancer Unit | Budhu A.,Pancreatic Cancer Unit | And 9 more authors.
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2013

Purpose: To identify metabolic pathways that are perturbed in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), we investigated gene-metabolite networks with integration of metabolomics and transcriptomics. Experimental Design: Weconducted global metabolite profiling analysis on two independent cohorts of resected PDAC cases to identify critical metabolites alteration that may contribute to the progression of pancreatic cancer. We then searched for gene surrogates that were significantly correlated with the key metabolites, by integrating metabolite and gene expression profiles. Results: Fifty-five metabolites were consistently altered in tumors as compared with adjacent nontumor tissues in a test cohort (N=33) and an independent validation cohort (N=31). Weighted network analysis revealed a unique set of free fatty acids (FFA) that were highly coregulated and decreased in PDAC. Pathway analysis of 157 differentially expressed gene surrogates revealed a significantly altered lipid metabolism network, including key lipolytic enzymes PNLIP, CLPS, PNLIPRP1, and PNLIPRP2. Gene expressions of these lipases were significantly decreased in pancreatic tumors as compared with nontumor tissues, leading to reduced FFAs. More importantly, a lower gene expression of PNLIP in tumors was associated with poorer survival in two independent cohorts. We further showed that two saturated FFAs, palmitate and stearate, significantly induced TRAIL expression, triggered apoptosis, and inhibited proliferation in pancreatic cancer cells. Conclusions: Our results suggest that impairment in a lipolytic pathway involving lipases, and a unique set of FFAs,may play an important role in the development and progression of pancreatic cancer and provide potential targets for therapeutic intervention. © 2013 American Association for Cancer Research.

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