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

Oncogene. 2004 Feb 19;23(7):1448-56. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1207247.

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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy
  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Focal Adhesion Kinase 1
  • Focal Adhesion Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • RNA Interference
  • RNA, Small Interfering / pharmacology
  • Receptor, EphA2 / metabolism*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured

Substances

  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Receptor, EphA2
  • Focal Adhesion Kinase 1
  • Focal Adhesion Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • PTK2 protein, human
  • Ptk2 protein, mouse