EphA2: a determinant of malignant cellular behavior and a potential therapeutic target in pancreatic adenocarcinoma

Mark S Duxbury, Hiromichi Ito, Michael J Zinner, Stanley W Ashley, Edward E Whang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The EphA2 receptor tyrosine kinase is overexpressed in a variety of human cancers. We sought to characterize the role of EphA2 in pancreatic adenocarcinoma and, using RNA interference (RNAi) mediated by small interfering RNA (siRNA), we determined the effects of suppressing EphA2 expression in vitro and in vivo. EphA2 expression in PANC1, MIAPaCa2, BxPC3 and Capan2 cells was assessed by Northern and Western blot. We artificially overexpressed EphA2 by transient transfection and suppressed EphA2 expression using RNAi. Cellular invasiveness was quantified by modified Boyden chamber assay. Anoikis was induced by anchorage-independent polyHEMA culture and caspase 3 activity was quantified fluorometrically. Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) phosphorylation was assessed by immunoprecipitation. EphA2 siRNA treatment was assessed in a nude mouse xenograft model. Pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells differentially express EphA2. Inherent and induced EphA2 overexpression is associated with increased cellular invasiveness and anoikis resistance. EphA2 siRNA suppresses EphA2 expression, cellular invasiveness, anoikis resistance and FAK phosphorylation in vitro and retards tumor growth and inhibits metastasis in vivo. EphA2 is both a determinant of malignant cellular behavior and a potential therapeutic target in pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1448-56
Number of pages9
JournalOncogene
Volume23
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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