Epidemiologic and animal studies have linked pancreatic cancer growth with fat intake, especially unsaturated fats. Arachidonic acid release from membrane phospholipids is essential for tumor cell proliferation. Lipoxygenases (LOX) constitute one pathway for arachidonate metabolism, but their role in pancreatic cancer growth is unknown. The expression of 5-LOX and 12-LOX as well as their effects on cell proliferation was investigated in four human pancreatic cancer cell lines (PANC-1, MiaPaca2, Capan2, and ASPC-1). Expression of 5-LOX and 12-LOX mRNA was measured by nested RT-PCR. Effects of LOX inhibitors and specific LOX antisense oligonucleotides on pancreatic cancer cell proliferation were measured by (3)H-thymidine incorporation. Our results showed that (1) 5-LOX and 12-LOX were expressed in all pancreatic cancer cell lines tested, while they were not detectable in normal human pancreatic ductal cells; (2) both LOX inhibitors and LOX antisense markedly inhibited cell proliferation in a concentration-dependent and time-dependent manner; (3) the 5-LOX and 12-LOX metabolites 5-HETE and 12-HETE as well as arachidonic and linoleic acids directly stimulated pancreatic cancer cell proliferation; (4) LOX inhibitor-induced growth inhibition was reversed by 5-HETE and 12-HETE. The current studies indicate that both 5-LOX and 12-LOX expression is upregulated in human pancreatic cancer cells and LOX plays a critical role in pancreatic cancer cell proliferation. LOX inhibitors may be valuable for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.