Background: This study was designed to investigate abnormalities in gene expression in ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas using cDNA arrays.
Methods: Gene expression in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma was compared with normal pancreatic tissue controls. Specimens from 5 patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma were taken fresh at operation and analyzed using commercially prepared cDNA arrays evaluating approximately 2,000 genes. Immunohistochemical staining was used to confirm protein expression of selected genes.
Results: Alpha-1-antitrypsin (A1AT) and glutathione S-transferase pi (GSTP) were significantly up-regulated in all 5 tumors. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was up-regulated in 4 of the 5 patients. Immunohistochemical staining verified the overexpression of each of these genes.
Conclusions: A1AT, GSTP, and VEGF are overexpressed in human pancreatic adenocarcinoma specimens taken fresh at operation. To our knowledge, this is the first study of human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma demonstrating the up-regulation of these genes using gene expression arrays.