Background: Anoctamin (ANO)/transmembrane member 16 (TMEM16) proteins mediate diverse physiological and pathophysiological functions including cancer cell proliferation. The present study aimed to identify the role of ANOs in pancreatic cancer. Methods: In an initial screen of ANOs, ANO9/TMEM16J was overexpressed in pancreatic cancer cells, and its role in the pathogenesis of pancreatic cancer was evaluated using an integrated in vitro and in vivo approach. To determine clinical relevance of the experimental findings, the prognostic value of ANO9 was evaluated in patients with pancreatic cancer. Results: The ANO9 mRNA and protein levels were increased in pancreatic cancer-derived cells. Exogenous expression of ANO9 in PANC-1 cells significantly increased cell proliferation in cell cultures and in mice. In contrast, knockdown of ANO9 in AsPC-1, BxPC-3, and Capan-2 cells strongly inhibited cell proliferation. Mechanistic analysis suggested that physical association of ANO9 with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) underlies ANO9-induced cell proliferation. Knockdown of ANO9 augmented the effects of the EGFR inhibitor and the cytotoxic agent on pancreatic cancer cell proliferation. In addition, high ANO9 expression is a poor prognostic factor in patients with pancreatic cancer. Conclusions: The ANO9/TMEM16J appears to be a clinically useful prognostic marker for pancreatic cancer and a potential therapeutic target.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the National Research Foundation, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, Republic of Korea (2013R1A3A2042197).
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research