Homozygous deletion of the activin A receptor, type IB gene is associated with an aggressive cancer phenotype in pancreatic cancer
© Togashi et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014
Received: 13 November 2013
Accepted: 20 May 2014
Published: 27 May 2014
Transforming growth factor, beta (TGFB) signal is considered to be a tumor suppressive pathway based on the frequent genomic deletion of the SMAD4 gene in pancreatic cancer (PC); however; the role of the activin signal, which also belongs to the TGFB superfamily, remains largely unclear.
Methods and results
We found a homozygous deletion of the activin A receptor, type IB (ACVR1B) gene in 2 out of 8 PC cell lines using array-comparative genomic hybridization, and the absence of ACVR1B mRNA and protein expression was confirmed in these 2 cell lines. Activin A stimulation inhibited cellular growth and increased the phosphorylation level of SMAD2 and the expression level of p21CIP1/WAF1 in the Sui66 cell line (wild-type ACVR1B and SMAD4 genes) but not in the Sui68 cell line (homozygous deletion of ACVR1B gene). Stable ACVR1B-knockdown using short hairpin RNA cancelled the effects of activin A on the cellular growth of the PC cell lines. In addition, ACVR1B-knockdown significantly enhanced the cellular growth and colony formation abilities, compared with controls. In a xenograft study, ACVR1B-knockdown resulted in a significantly elevated level of tumorigenesis and a larger tumor volume, compared with the control. Furthermore, in clinical samples, 6 of the 29 PC samples (20.7%) carried a deletion of the ACVR1B gene, while 10 of the 29 samples (34.5%) carried a deletion of the SMAD4 gene. Of note, 5 of the 6 samples with a deletion of the ACVR1B gene also had a deletion of the SMAD4 gene.
We identified a homozygous deletion of the ACVR1B gene in PC cell lines and clinical samples and proposed that the deletion of the ACVR1B gene may mediate an aggressive cancer phenotype in PC. Our findings provide novel insight into the role of the activin signal in PC.
KeywordsPancreatic cancer Activin signal Activin A receptor Type IB SMAD4
Pancreatic cancer (PC) is a devastating disease. Gemcitabine has been the standard therapy for experimental regimens in patients with advanced PC for over a decade, but recently, the overall survival has been significantly prolonged using combination therapies, such as gemcitabine plus erlotinib or a combination of oxaliplatin, irinotecan, fluorouracil and leucovorin (FOLFIRINOX) [1–3]. Despite some recent progress, however, the overall survival rate of patients with PC is still less than 5% . The model explaining the progression of PC is influenced by multiple genetic alterations. During early genetic events, such as activating point mutations in the K-ras oncogene and the overexpression of the HER-2/neu gene, pancreatic duct lesions show minimal cytological and architectural atypia. The inactivation of the p16 tumor suppressor gene appears to occur at a later stage, followed by the loss of the p53, SMAD4, and BRCA2 tumor suppressor genes [5–8]. For instance, the HER-2/neu gene is not expressed in the epithelium lining of normal pancreatic duct, but it is highly expressed in pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia . However, two clinical trials assessing anit-HER2 trastuzumab therapy in patients with PC overexpressing HER2 have produced disappointing results [10, 11]. Although such recent breakthroughs in the molecular biology of PC have assisted in translational research, creating hope for individualized therapy and better disease management, the inhibition of epidermal growth factor receptor using erlotinib is, to date, the only targeted approach that has been demonstrated to result in a survival . Therefore, further understanding of the molecular biology of PC is needed.
The transforming growth factor, beta (TGFB) receptor II (TGFBR2) and SMAD4 genes are commonly inactivated in several types of cancer, providing evidence that the TGFB signal functions as a tumor suppressor [12, 13]. Thirty percent of colorectal cancers are thought to contain a mutation in the TGFBR2 gene. The human locus 18q21, which encodes the SMAD2 and SMAD4 genes, is often mutated or lost completely in several cancers. The loss of the SMAD4 gene eliminates the classic SMAD2/3/4 heteromeric complexes that have been implicated in a large number of TGFB-dependent transcriptional regulatory complexes. As a result, TGFB-mediated growth inhibition is lost. The SMAD4 gene is inactivated in 55% of PC tumors, and numerous studies on TGFB signal in PC have been reported. The loss of the SMAD4 gene is correlated with both a poor prognosis and the development of widespread metastases in patients. The TGFBR2 gene is also altered in a smaller subset of PC tumors [5–7, 14, 15]. In addition, pancreatic-specific TGFBR2 or SMAD4-knockout mice with active K-ras expression developed PC [16, 17]. However, the roles of defects other than those in the SMAD4 and TGFBR2 genes in PC remain unclear, and few studies regarding the activin signal, which also belongs to the TGFB superfamily, have been reported [18–20]. Defects in several genes involved in the activin signal pathway have been characterized in several cancers. For instance, two 8-bp polyadenine tracts in the activin A receptor, type IIA (ACVR2A) gene were reported to be targets for frameshift mutations in gastrointestinal cancers with microsatellite instability . Similarly, the activin signal induces growth inhibition and apoptosis mainly through SMAD-dependent pathways in many other cancers [22–27]. Thus, the dysregulation of the activin signal is directly involved in carcinogenesis. In contrast, however, a recent study has demonstrated that Nodal/Activin signal is associated with self-renewal and the tumorigenicity of PC stem cells ; thus, the role of activin signal in pancreatic carcinogenesis remains controversial. In the present study, we identified a homozygous deletion of the activin A receptor, type IB (ACVR1B) gene in PC cell lines using array-comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH). Furthermore, we investigated the role of this homozygous deletion in PC cell lines and the status of the ACVR1B gene in clinical samples of PC.
Identification of homozygous deletion of ACVR1B gene in PC cell lines
Cell line characteristics and the status of ACVR1B and SMAD4
mRNA and protein expressions of ACVR1B and SMAD4 in PC cell lines
Influence of activin A on cellular growth and cell cycle in PC cell lines
Effect of activin A on SMAD2 phosphorylation and p21 induction in PC cell lines
Next, we evaluated the expression levels of p21CIP1/WAF1. p21CIP1/WAF1 is a major cdk inhibitor and is a hallmark of the cytostatic role of the TGFB signal pathway . TGFB and activin A are known to increase p21 expression [22, 28]. The expression of p21 was evaluated in whole-cell lysates. p21 expression was increased by both TGFB1 and activin A in the Sui66 cell line. In the Sui68 cell line, however, its expression was increased only by TGFB1 (Figure 5B). Therefore, we speculated that p21 may have a role in activin A-mediated growth inhibition and cell-cycle progression.
To evaluate the effect of activin A on SMAD4-independent pathways, the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and AKT, which are representative signals of SMAD4-independent pathways, was investigated in the Sui70 cell line (wild-type ACVR1B and homozygous deletion of SMAD4 genes). The phosphorylation was not changed by activin A (Additional file 1B). Particularly, both AKT and ERK1/2 were phosphorylated before the stimulations. The expression of p21 also remained unchanged.
Enhanced cellular growth and colony formation, but no response to activin A, of Sui66/shACVR1B and Sui73/shACVR1B cell lines
Enhanced in vivo tumorigenicity and tumor growth of stable ACVR1B-knockdown cell lines
Suppressed in vitro cellular growth and colony formation, and in vivo tumorigenicity of p21-overexpressed Sui68 cell line
ACVR1B and SMAD4 gene copy numbers in clinical samples of PC
Patient characteristics and the association with ACVR1B gene status
Not deletion (n = 23)
Deletion (n = 6)
≥ 70 years
Lymph node metastasis
SMAD4 gene status
Best supportive care
Response to chemotherapy
SD or PD
Median PFS (days)
Median OS (days)
In this study, we identified a homozygous deletion of the ACVR1B gene in PC cell lines and clinical samples. Activin A inhibited cellular growth in the cell lines with wild-type ACVR1B and SMAD4 genes, and ACVR1B-knockdown enhanced cellular growth and colony formation in vitro as well as tumor growth and tumorigenicity in vivo. These results suggest that the activin signal has a tumor suppressive role in PC and that the deletion of the ACVR1B gene mediates an aggressive cancer phenotype relative to PC carrying the wild-type ACVR1B gene.
Similar to our study, several articles have shown an anti-tumorigenic effect of the activin signal. Activin A induces growth inhibition and apoptosis mainly through SMAD-dependent pathways in many other cancers, such as gall bladder cancer, prostate cancer, neuroblastoma, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and colon cancer [22–27]. In our study, activin A inhibited cellular growth and induced G1 phase cell arrest in a PC cell line with wild-type ACVR1B and SMAD4 genes via the phosphorylation of SMAD2 and the expression of p21, while the cellular growth of a cell line with the homozygous deletion of the ACVR1B gene was not inhibited by activin A. In addition, the cellular inhibitory effect of activin A and the activin-induced phosphorylation of SMAD2 were cancelled by ACVR1B-knockdown in cell lines with wild-type ACVR1B and SMAD4 genes. In vivo, ACVR1B-knockdown also enhanced the tumorigenicity and tumor growth. The Sui68 cell line (homozygous deletion of the ACVR1B gene and the wild-type SMAD4 gene) was capable of generating sufficient tumors, suggesting that the deletion of the ACVR1B gene contributes to tumorigenicity even in the presence of the wild-type SMAD4 gene. In addition, the in vitro colony formation and cellular growth and the in vivo tumorigenicity of the Sui68 cell line were greatly inhibited by p21-overexpression. Thus, the anti-tumorigenic effect of the activin signal via the SMAD pathways and p21 was lost by ACVR1B- knockdown, which was related to an aggressive phenotype of PC.
Interestingly, another article and the present study both demonstrated that the inactivation of the ACVR1B gene is frequently complicated by the inactivation of the SMAD4 gene . The TGFB and activin signals have non-SMAD pathways, and the ERK/MAPK signal and the PI3K/AKT signal are representative signals that are associated with cellular growth and survival . In the Sui70 cell line (wild-type ACVR1B gene and the homozygous deletion of the SMAD4 gene), however, activin A did not influence the cellular growth, and neither the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 nor that of AKT was enhanced. Approximately 95% of PC, including the Sui70 cell line has a K-ras mutation [5–8], and both ERK1/2 and AKT are phosphorylated in the Sui70 cell line because of this mutation . Therefore, non-SMAD pathways may have little effect on the aggressiveness of PC carrying the wild-type ACVR1B gene and a homozygous deletion of the SMAD4 gene. In addition, some other reports have suggested that the inactivation of a TGFB receptor is not mutually exclusive with that of the SMAD4 gene, since both members are known to be genetically inactivated in some tumors [32, 33]. Therefore, these findings would fit with a combined input model, which could explain the observed coexistence of the genetic inactivations of these genes.
Pancreatic-specific TGFBR2 or SMAD4-knockout mice with active K-ras expression reportedly developed PC [16, 17]. However, systemic ACVR1B-knockout mice do not survive beyond embryonic day 9.5 , and pancreatic-specific ACVR1B-knockout mice have not been previously studied. Considering the tumor suppressive role of the ACVR1B gene, the development of PC in pancreatic-specific ACVR1B-knockout mice seems reasonable. In contrast to our results, however, a recent study has demonstrated that Nodal/Activin signal is associated with self-renewal and the tumorigenicity of PC stem cells . Therefore, to investigate these findings, further research is required.
Since the clinical DNA samples were obtained using needle biopsies, the inclusion of some normal pancreas tissue was unavoidable. Thus, the copy number data does not exactly reflect that for cancer tissue. In addition, the number of clinical samples was very small. Therefore, this cohort has many limitations. No significant differences in the PFS or OS were observed between the patients with ACVR1B gene deletions and those without. To confirm the clinical importance of the ACVR1B gene deletion, larger studies including more precise genome evaluations are needed.
We identified the homozygous deletion of the ACVR1B gene in PC cell lines and clinical samples. Our experimental findings indicate that the activin signal has a tumor suppressive role and that the deletion of the ACVR1B gene may mediate an aggressive cancer phenotype in PC.
Materials and methods
Cell culture, ligands, and reagents
Human PC cell lines (Sui65, Sui66, Sui67, Sui68, Sui70, Sui71, Sui73, and Sui74) were maintained in RPMI-1640 medium (Sigma-Aldrich, St. Louis, MO) with 10% FBS (GIBCO BRL, Grand Island, NY) (Table 1) . The cell lines were maintained in a 5% CO2-humidified atmosphere at 37˚C.
TGFB1 and activin A were both purchased from R&D Systems (Minneapolis, MN). The ACVR1B/TGFBR1/ACVR1C-specific inhibitor SB431542 was purchased from Sigma-Aldrich.
Array-based comparative genomic hybridization
The Genome-wide Human SNP Array 6.0 (Affymetrix, Santa Clara, CA) was used to perform array-CGH on genomic DNA from each of the PC cell lines as described previously . The GeneChip Human Mapping 250 K Nsp Array (Affymetrix) was used to perform array-CGH on genomic DNA from each of the cell lines. A total of 250 ng of genomic DNA was digested with Nsp I (250 K) or both Nsp I and Sty I in independent parallel reactions (SNP6.0), subjected to restriction enzymes, ligated to the adaptor, and amplified using PCR with a universal primer and TITANIUM Taq DNA Polymerase (Clontech, Palo Alto, CA). The PCR products were then quantified, fragmented, end-labeled, and hybridized onto a GeneChip Human Mapping 250 K Nsp Array or a Genome-wide Human SNP6.0 Array. After washing and staining in Fluidics Station 450 (Affymetrix), the arrays were scanned to generate CEL files using the GeneChip Scanner 3000 and GeneChip Operating Software, ver.1.4.
Copy number assay for ACVR1B and SMAD4 genes
The copy numbers for ACVR1B and SMAD4 genes were determined using commercially available and pre-designed TaqMan Copy Number Assays (Applied Biosystems, Foster City, CA) as described previously . The primer IDs used for the ACVR1B and SMAD4 genes were Hs06931689_cn (intron 1) and Hs07120826_cn (intron 1), respectively. The TERT locus was used for the internal reference copy number. Human Genomic DNA (TaKaRa) was used as a normal control. Real-time genomic PCR was performed in a total volume of 20 μL in each well, which contained 10 μL of TaqMan genotyping master mix and 20 ng of genomic DNA and each primer. The PCR conditions were 95°C for 10 min and 40 cycles of 95°C for 15 sec and 60°C for 1 min; the resulting products were detected using the ABI PRISM 7900 HT Sequence Detection System (Applied Biosystems). Data were analyzed using SDS 2.2 software and CopyCaller software (Applied Biosystems). Samples with a gene copy number of less than 0.5 were defined as having a copy number of 0 (deletion of the gene), while those with a gene copy number of 0.5 or more but less than 1.5 were defined as having a copy number of 1 and those with a gene copy number of 1.5 or more but less than 2.5 were defined as having a copy number of 2.
One microgram of total RNA from each of the PC cell lines and normal pancreas tissue purchased from Clontech were converted to cDNA using the GeneAmp RNA-PCR kit (Applied Biosystems). Real-time PCR was performed using the Applied Biosystems 7900 HT Fast Real-time PCR System (Applied Biosystems), as described previously  under the following conditions: 95°C for 5 min, 50 cycles of 95°C for 10 sec, and 60°C for 1 min. Glyceraldehyde 3 phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPD, NM_002046) was used to normalize the expression levels in subsequent quantitative analyses. To amplify the target genes, the following primers were used: ACVR1B-F, CAGCAGAACCTTGGCGGTTTA; ACVR1B-R, GTTGGCAGATCCCAGAGGCTAC; SMAD4-F, CAGCTATGCCAGAAGCCAGA; SMAD4-R, GAACTCCTGGGACTTTCAACTGAC; GAPD-F, GCACCGTCAAGGCTGAGAAC; GAPD-R, ATGGTGGTGAAGACGCCAGT. The experiment was performed in triplicate.
Plasmid construction, viral production, and stable transfectants
A short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-targeting ACVR1B gene was constructed using oligonucleotides encoding small interfering RNA directed against the ACVR1B gene and a non-specific target as follows: GAATTGCTCATCGAGACTT and GGCTTGTTTCTGACTATCA for ACVR1B shRNA (shRNA ACVR1B-1 and shRNA ACVR1B-2, respectively), and ACTTGGTTCGCGTATCAAA and CCATATTGCGCGTTGATTT for control shRNA (shRNA scramble-1 and shRNA scramble-2, respectively). The method was described previously . Briefly, the oligonucleotides were cloned into an RNAi-Ready pSIREN-RetroQZsGreen vector (Clontech). A pVSV-G vector (Clontech) for the constitution of the viral envelope and the RNAi-Ready pSIREN-RetroQZsGreen constructs were cotransfected into gpIRES-293 cells using FuGENE6 transfection reagent (Roche Diagnostics, Basel, Switzerland). After 48 hours of transfection, the culture medium was collected and the viral particles were concentrated by centrifugation at 15,000 × g for 3 hours at 4°C. The viral pellet was then resuspended in fresh RPMI-1640 medium. The titer of the viral vector was calculated by counting the green-positive cells that were infected by serial dilutions of virus-containing media, and the multiplicity of infection was then determined. The viral vectors were designated as pSIREN-shACVR1B-1, pSIREN-shACVR1B-2, pSIREN-shScr-1, and pSIREN-shScr-2. The stable transfectants expressing shRNA ACVR1B-1, shRNA ACVR1B-2, shRNA scramble-1 or shRNA scramble-2 in the Sui66 and Sui73 cell lines were designated as Sui66/shACVR1B (Sui66/shACVR1B-1 and Sui66/shACVR1B-2), Sui66/shScr (Sui66/shScr-1 and Sui66/shScr-2), Sui73/shACVR1B (Sui73/shACVR1B-1 and Sui73/shACVR1B-2), and Sui73/shScr (Sui73/shScr-1 and Sui73/shScr-2), respectively.
A full-length cDNA fragment encoding the human p21 gene was introduced into a pQCLIN retroviral vector (Clontech) together with enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) following the internal ribosome entry site sequence (IRES) to monitor the expression of the inserts indirectly. The methods used for viral production and the stable transfectant were described above. The vectors and stable viral transfectant Sui68 cell line was designated as pQCLIN-EGFP, pQLCIN-p21, Sui68/EGFP and Sui68/p21, respectively.
A goat antibody specific for ACVR1B was obtained from R&D Systems. Rabbit antibodies specific for SMAD2, phospho-SMAD2, SMAD4, AKT, phospho-AKT, ERK1/2, phospho-ERK1/2, p21, and β-actin were obtained from Cell Signaling (Beverly, MA).
Western blot analysis
A western blot analysis was performed as described previously . Briefly, subconfluent cells were washed with cold phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) and harvested with Lysis A buffer containing 1% Triton X-100, 20 mM Tris–HCl (pH7.0), 5 mM EDTA, 50 mM sodium chloride, 10 mM sodium pyrophosphate, 50 mM sodium fluoride, 1 mM sodium orthovanadate, and a protease inhibitor mix, Complete™ (Roche Diagnostics). Whole-cell lysates were separated using a 5%-20% SDS-PAGE and were blotted onto a polyvinylidene fluoride membrane. After blocking with 3% bovine serum albumin in a TBS buffer (pH8.0) with 0.1% Tween-20, the membrane was probed with primary antibody. After rinsing twice with TBS buffer, the membrane was incubated with horseradish peroxidase-conjugated secondary antibody and washed, followed by visualization using an ECL detection system (GE Healthcare, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom) and LAS-3000 (Fujifilm, Tokyo, Japan). When the influence of the ligands was evaluated, the cultured medium was replaced with 1% FBS medium 6 hours before exposure to the ligands.
Cellular growth assay
The Sui66-, Sui68-, and Sui73-transfectant cell lines were incubated on 96-well plates at a density of 2,000/well with 200 μL of cultured medium at 37°C in 5% CO2. After 24, 48, or 72 hours of incubation, 20 μL of MTT [3-(4,5-dimethyl-thiazoyl-2-yl)2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide] solution (Sigma-Aldrich) was added and the culture medium was discarded; the wells were then filled with DMSO. The absorbance of the cultures at 570 nm was measured using VERSAmax (Japan Molecular Devices, Tokyo, Japan). To evaluate growth in the presence of ligands, we also used an MTT assay. The cell lines (2,000/well) were transferred to 96-well plates and cultured using 1% FBS medium for 24 hours at 37°C. Then, the ligands (TGFB1: 0, 0.1, 1, and 10 ng/mL; activin A: 0, 1, 10, and 100 ng/mL) were added and the incubation was further continued for 72 hours at 37°C using 1% FBS medium. The average O.D. values of the 6 wells were used for a single experiment, and the experiment was performed in triplicate.
Colony formation assay
Sui66- and Sui73-transfectant cell lines were seeded into 6-well plates at a density of 200 cells/well, and Sui68- transfectant cell lines were seeded into 6-well plates at a density of 500 cells/well. After 2 weeks, the cells were washed with PBS and fixed with 4% paraformaldehyde for 10 min and then stained with 0.1% crystal violet for 15 min; the colonies were then counted under a light microscope. The experiment was performed in triplicate.
Cell cycle distribution analysis
The cell cycle analyses were performed as described previously . Briefly, cell lines were seeded into 6-cm dishes of 2 × 105 cells and cultured using 1% FBS medium for 24 hours at 37°C. Then, the ligands (TGFB1, 1 ng/mL; activin A, 10 ng/mL) were added, and the incubation was further continued for 48 hours at 37°C using 1% FBS medium. Cells were harvested by trypsinization, washed twice with PBS, and fixed with cold 70% ethanol at 4°C for 30 min. Then, the cells were washed twice with PBS and stained using propidium iodide/RNase Staining Buffer (BD Biosciences, San Jose, CA) at room temperature for 15 min. The cells were analyzed using a flow cytometer (BD FACSCalibur™, BD Biosciences), and the cell cycle analysis was performed using ModFit LT software. The experiment was performed in triplicate.
Nude mice (BALB/c nu/nu; 6-week-old females; CLEA Japan, Tokyo, Japan) were used for the in vivo studies and were cared for in accordance with the recommendations for the Handling of Laboratory Animals for Biomedical Research compiled by the Committee on Safety and Ethical Handling Regulations for Laboratory Animals Experiments, Kinki University. The ethical procedures followed and met the requirements of the United Kingdom Coordinating Committee on Cancer Research guidelines. To evaluate tumorigenicity, a suspension of 5 × 106 Sui66- and Sui68-transfectant cells (in 50 μL PBS) were subcutaneously inoculated into both flanks of nude mice (n = 7). To evaluate the tumor growth, a suspension of 5 × 106 Sui68- and Sui73-transfectant cells (in 50 μL PBS) with 50 μL of Matrigel were subcutaneously inoculated into the right flanks of nude mice (n = 5). The tumor volume was calculated as the length × width2 × 0.5. The tumor formation and volume were assessed every 2 to 3 days. At the end of the experiment, the mice were sacrificed and the xenografts were resected, fixed in 10% buffered formalin for 6 to 10 hours, and processed for histologic analysis. The method was described previously .
Patients and samples
A total of 29 patients who had been diagnosed as having unresectable PC based on the results of an endoscopic biopsy performed at Kinki University Hospital between April 2007 and March 2008 were enrolled. This study was retrospectively performed and was approved by the institutional review board of the Kinki University Faculty of Medicine. The staging of the PC was determined according to the TNM classification. Among those who had a good performance status and received chemotherapy, the PFS was defined as the time from the initiation of chemotherapy until the first observation of disease progression or death from any cause, OS was defined as the time from the initiation of chemotherapy until death from any cause. The response to chemotherapy was evaluated at one month after the start of therapy and every 2 months thereafter using computed tomography according to the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors.
The endoscopic biopsy samples were immediately stored at −80°C. Other biopsy samples obtained from the same location were reviewed by a pathologist to confirm the presence of tumor cells. The DNA was extracted using a QIAamp DNA Micro kit (Qiagen, Hilden, Germany) as described previously . The DNA concentration was determined using the NanoDrop2000 (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, MA).
Continuous variables were analyzed using the Student t-test, and the results were expressed as the average and standard deviations (SD). Dichotomous variables were analyzed using the Fisher exact test. PFS and OS were analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method and were compared among groups using the log-rank test. The statistical analyses were two-tailed and were performed using Microsoft Excel (Microsoft, Redmond, WA). A P-value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Activin A receptor
Comparative genomic hybridization
Transforming growth factor beta
Transforming growth factor beta receptor.
We thank Mr. Shinji Kurashimo, Mr. Yoshihiro Mine, Ms. Eiko Honda, Ms. Tomoko Kitayama, and Ms. Ayaka Kurumatani for their technical assistance. This work was supported in part by the Third-Term Comprehensive 10-Year Strategy for Cancer Control and Grant-in Aid for Japan Society for Promotion of Science Fellows.
- Moore MJ, Goldstein D, Hamm J, Figer A, Hecht JR, Gallinger S, Au HJ, Murawa P, Walde D, Wolff RA, Campos D, Lim R, Ding K, Clark G, Voskoglou-Nomikos T, Ptasynski M, Parulekar W, National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group: Erlotinib plus gemcitabine compared with gemcitabine alone in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer: a phase III trial of the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group. J Clin Oncol. 2007, 25: 1960-1966. 10.1200/JCO.2006.07.9525.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Conroy T, Desseigne F, Ychou M, Bouché O, Guimbaud R, Bécouarn Y, Adenis A, Raoul JL, Gourgou-Bourgade S, de la Fouchardière C, Bennouna J, Bachet JB, Khemissa-Akouz F, Péré-Vergé D, Delbaldo C, Assenat E, Chauffert B, Michel P, Montoto-Grillot C, Ducreux M, Groupe Tumeurs Digestives of Unicancer; PRODIGE Intergroup: FOLFIRINOX versus gemcitabine for metastatic pancreatic cancer. N Engl J Med. 2011, 364: 1817-1825. 10.1056/NEJMoa1011923.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Von Hoff DD, Ervin T, Arena FP, Chiorean EG, Infante J, Moore M, Seay T, Tjulandin SA, Ma WW, Saleh MN, Harris M, Reni M, Dowden S, Laheru D, Bahary N, Ramanathan RK, Tabernero J, Hidalgo M, Goldstein D, Van Cutsem E, Wei X, Iglesias J, Renschler MF: Increased survival in pancreatic cancer with nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine. N Engl J Med. 2013, 369: 1691-1703. 10.1056/NEJMoa1304369.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Siegel R, Naishadham D, Jemal A: Cancer statistics, 2013. CA Cancer J Clin. 2013, 63: 11-30. 10.3322/caac.21166.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Bardeesy N, DePinho RA: Pancreatic cancer biology and genetics. Nat Rev Cancer. 2002, 2: 897-909. 10.1038/nrc949.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Singh P, Srinivasan R, Wig JD: Major molecular markers in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and their roles in screening, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. Pancreas. 2011, 40: 644-652. 10.1097/MPA.0b013e31821ff741.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Macgregor-Das AM, Iacobuzio-Donahue CA: Molecular pathways in pancreatic carcinogenesis. J Surg Oncol. 2013, 107: 8-14. 10.1002/jso.23213.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Baker CH, Solorzano CC, Fidler IJ: Blockade of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor and epidermal growth factor receptor signaling for therapy of metastatic human pancreatic cancer. Cancer Res. 2002, 62: 1996-2003.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Day JD, Digiuseppe JA, Yeo C, Lai-Goldman M, Anderson SM, Goodman SN, Kern SE, Hruban RH: Immunohistochemical evaluation of HER-2/neu expression in pancreatic adenocarcinoma and pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasms. Hum Pathol. 1996, 27: 119-124. 10.1016/S0046-8177(96)90364-0.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Safran H, Iannitti D, Ramanathan R, Schwartz JD, Steinhoff M, Nauman C, Hesketh P, Rathore R, Wolff R, Tantravahi U, Hughes TM, Maia C, Pasquariello T, Goldstein L, King T, Tsai JY, Kennedy T: Herceptin and gemcitabine for metastatic pancreatic cancers that overexpress HER-2/neu. Cancer Invest. 2004, 22: 706-712. 10.1081/CNV-200032974.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Harder J, Ihorst G, Heinemann V, Hofheinz R, Moehler M, Buechler P, Kloeppel G, Röcken C, Bitzer M, Boeck S, Endlicher E, Reinacher-Schick A, Schmoor C, Geissler M: Multicentre phase II trial of trastuzumab and capecitabine in patients with HER2 overexpressing metastatic pancreatic cancer. Br J Cancer. 2012, 106: 1033-1038. 10.1038/bjc.2012.18.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Ikushima H, Miyazono K: TGFbeta signalling: a complex web in cancer progression. Nat Rev Cancer. 2010, 10: 415-424. 10.1038/nrc2853.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Akhurst RJ, Hata A: Targeting the TGFβ signalling pathway in disease. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2012, 11: 790-811. 10.1038/nrd3810.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hilbig A, Oettle H: Transforming growth factor beta in pancreatic cancer. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2011, 12: 2158-2164. 10.2174/138920111798808356.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Birnbaum DJ, Mamessier E, Birnbaum D: The emerging role of the TGFβ tumor suppressor pathway in pancreatic cancer. Cell Cycle. 2012, 11: 683-686. 10.4161/cc.11.4.19130.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Ijichi H, Chytil A, Gorska AE, Aakre ME, Fujitani Y, Fujitani S, Wright CV, Moses HL: Aggressive pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma in mice caused by pancreas-specific blockade of transforming growth factor-beta signaling in cooperation with active Kras expression. Genes Dev. 2006, 20: 3147-3160. 10.1101/gad.1475506.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Izeradjene K, Combs C, Best M, Gopinathan A, Wagner A, Grady WM, Deng CX, Hruban RH, Adsay NV, Tuveson DA, Hingorani SR: Kras(G12D) and Smad4/Dpc4 haploinsufficiency cooperate to induce mucinous cystic neoplasms and invasive adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. Cancer Cell. 2007, 11: 229-243. 10.1016/j.ccr.2007.01.017.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Kleeff J, Ishiwata T, Friess H, Büchler MW, Korc M: Concomitant over-expression of activin/inhibin beta subunits and their receptors in human pancreatic cancer. Int J Cancer. 1998, 77: 860-868. 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0215(19980911)77:6<860::AID-IJC11>3.0.CO;2-5.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Su GH, Bansal R, Murphy KM, Montgomery E, Yeo CJ, Hruban RH, Kern SE: ACVR1B (ALK4, activin receptor type 1B) gene mutations in pancreatic carcinoma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001, 98: 3254-3257. 10.1073/pnas.051484398.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Lonardo E, Hermann PC, Mueller MT, Huber S, Balic A, Miranda-Lorenzo I, Zagorac S, Alcala S, Rodriguez-Arabaolaza I, Ramirez JC, Torres-Ruíz R, Garcia E, Hidalgo M, Cebrián DÁ, Heuchel R, Lour M, Berger F, Bartenstein P, Aicher A, Heeschen C: Nodal/Activin signaling drives self-renewal and tumorigenicity of pancreatic cancer stem cells and provides a target for combined drug therapy. Cell Stem Cell. 2011, 9: 433-446. 10.1016/j.stem.2011.10.001.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hempen PM, Zhang L, Bansal RK, Iacobuzio-Donahue CA, Murphy KM, Maitra A, Vogelstein B, Whitehead RH, Markowitz SD, Willson JK, Yeo CJ, Hruban RH, Kern SE: Evidence of selection for clones having genetic inactivation of the activin A type II receptor (ACVR2) gene in gastrointestinal cancers. Cancer Res. 2003, 63: 994-999.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Bauer J, Sporn JC, Cabral J, Gomez J, Jung B: Effects of activin and TGFβ on p21 in colon cancer. PLoS One. 2012, 7: e39381-10.1371/journal.pone.0039381.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- McPherson SJ, Mellor SL, Wang H, Evans LW, Groome NP, Risbridger GP: Expression of activin A and follistatin core proteins by human prostate tumor cell lines. Endocrinology. 1999, 140: 5303-5309. 10.1210/endo.140.11.7141.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Yokomuro S, Tsuji H, Lunz JG, Sakamoto T, Ezure T, Murase N, Demetris AJ: Growth control of human biliary epithelial cells by interleukin 6, hepatocyte growth factor, transforming growth factor beta1, and activin A: comparison of a cholangiocarcinoma cell line with primary cultures of non-neoplastic biliary epithelial cells. Hepatology. 2000, 32: 26-35. 10.1053/jhep.2000.8535.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Panopoulou E, Murphy C, Rasmussen H, Bagli E, Rofstad EK, Fotsis T: Activin A suppresses neuroblastoma xenograft tumor growth via antimitotic and antiangiogenic mechanisms. Cancer Res. 2005, 65: 1877-1886. 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-04-2828.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Burdette JE, Jeruss JS, Kurley SJ, Lee EJ, Woodruff TK: Activin A mediates growth inhibition and cell cycle arrest through Smads in human breast cancer cells. Cancer Res. 2005, 65: 7968-7975.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Ramachandran A, Marshall ES, Love DR, Baguley BC, Shelling AN: Activin is a potent growth suppressor of epithelial ovarian cancer cells. Cancer Lett. 2009, 285: 157-165. 10.1016/j.canlet.2009.05.010.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Kaneda H, Arao T, Matsumoto K, De Velasco MA, Tamura D, Aomatsu K, Kudo K, Sakai K, Nagai T, Fujita Y, Tanaka K, Yanagihara K, Yamada Y, Okamoto I, Nakagawa K, Nishio K: Activin A inhibits vascular endothelial cell growth and suppresses tumour angiogenesis in gastric cancer. Br J Cancer. 2011, 105: 1210-1217. 10.1038/bjc.2011.348.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Weiss RH: p21Waf1/Cip1 as a therapeutic target in breast and other cancers. Cancer Cell. 2003, 4: 425-429. 10.1016/S1535-6108(03)00308-8.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Mu Y, Gudey SK, Landström M: Non-Smad signaling pathways. Cell Tissue Res. 2012, 347: 11-20. 10.1007/s00441-011-1201-y.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Yanagihara K, Takigahira M, Tanaka H, Arao T, Aoyagi Y, Oda T, Ochiai A, Nishio K: Establishment and molecular profiling of a novel human pancreatic cancer panel for 5-FU. Cancer Sci. 2008, 99: 1859-1864. 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2008.00896.x.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Goggins M, Shekher M, Turnacioglu K, Yeo CJ, Hruban RH, Kern SE: Genetic alterations of the transforming growth factor beta receptor genes in pancreatic and biliary adenocarcinomas. Cancer Res. 1998, 58: 5329-5332.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Grady WM, Myeroff LL, Swinler SE, Rajput A, Thiagalingam S, Lutterbaugh JD, Neumann A, Brattain MG, Chang J, Kim SJ, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B, Willson JK, Markowitz S: Mutational inactivation of transforming growth factor beta receptor type II in microsatellite stable colon cancers. Cancer Res. 1999, 59: 320-324.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Gu Z, Nomura M, Simpson BB, Lei H, Feijen A, van den Eijnden-van RJ, Donahoe PK, Li E: The type I activin receptor ActRIB is required for egg cylinder organization and gastrulation in the mouse. Genes Dev. 1998, 12: 844-857. 10.1101/gad.12.6.844.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Furuta K, Arao T, Sakai K, Kimura H, Nagai T, Tamura D, Aomatsu K, Kudo K, Kaneda H, Fujita Y, Matsumoto K, Yamada Y, Yanagihara K, Sekijima M, Nishio K: Integrated analysis of whole genome exon array and array-comparative genomic hybridization in gastric and colorectal cancer cells. Cancer Sci. 2012, 103: 221-227. 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2011.02132.x.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Matsumoto K, Arao T, Hamaguchi T, Shimada Y, Kato K, Oda I, Taniguchi H, Koizumi F, Yanagihara K, Sasaki H, Nishio K, Yamada Y: FGFR2 gene amplification and clinicopathological features in gastric cancer. Br J Cancer. 2012, 106: 727-732. 10.1038/bjc.2011.603.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Tamura D, Arao T, Tanaka K, Kaneda H, Matsumoto K, Kudo K, Aomatsu K, Fujita Y, Watanabe T, Saijo N, Kotani Y, Nishimura Y, Nishio K: Bortezomib potentially inhibits cellular growth of vascular endothelial cells through suppression of G2/M transition. Cancer Sci. 2010, 101: 1403-1408. 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2010.01544.x.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Kaneda H, Arao T, Tanaka K, Tamura D, Aomatsu K, Kudo K, Sakai K, De Velasco MA, Matsumoto K, Fujita Y, Yamada Y, Tsurutani J, Okamoto I, Nakagawa K, Nishio K: FOXQ1 is overexpressed in colorectal cancer and enhances tumorigenicity and tumor growth. Cancer Res. 2010, 70: 2053-2063. 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-2161.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.