Objectives: Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is a product of cyclooxygenase (COX) and PGE synthase (PGES) and deactivated by 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (PGDH). Down-regulation of PGDH contributes to PGE2 accumulation in lung and colon cancers but has not been identified in pancreatic cancer.
Methods: Normal human pancreatic and tumor-matched tissues, as well as MiaPaCa-2 and BxPC-3 cell lines, were assessed for COX-2, microsomal PGES-1, PGDH, and snail homolog 1 (SNAI1) and SNAI2 expressions by real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting and PGE2 by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Results: Normal tissues exhibited low COX-2 messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein expressions and high PGDH mRNA and protein expressions and PGE2 levels at 13 pg/mg of protein. In contrast, tumor tissues exhibited high COX-2 mRNA and protein expressions and low PGDH mRNA and protein expressions and PGE2 levels at 32 pg/mg of protein. Tumor tissues exhibited significantly elevated expressions of SNAI2 mRNA and protein but not SNAI1 because SNAI1 and SNAI2 reportedly down-regulate PGDH expression. The COX-2-positive BxPC-3 but not the COX-2-negative MiaPaCa-2 treated with 100-nmol/L PGE2 induced phosphorylated extracellular signal-related kinase that was blocked by the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase inhibitor U0126, demonstrating the ability of PGE2 to activate ERK.
Conclusions: These results suggest that enhanced PGE2 production proceeds through the expressions of COX-2 and microsomal PGES-1 and down-regulation of PGDH by SNAI2 in pancreatic tumors.