Neurotensin (NT) stimulates protein kinase D1 (PKD1), extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK), c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK), and DNA synthesis in the human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell line PANC-1. To determine the effect of PKD1 overexpression on these biological responses, we generated inducible stable PANC-1 clones that express wild-type (WT) or kinase-dead (K618N) forms of PKD1 in response to the ecdysone analog ponasterone-A (PonA). NT potently stimulated c-Jun Ser(63) phosphorylation in both wild type and clonal derivatives of PANC-1 cells. PonA-induced expression of WT, but not K618N PKD1, rapidly blocked NT-mediated c-Jun Ser(63) phosphorylation either at the level of or upstream of MKK4, a dual-specificity kinase that leads to JNK activation. This is the first demonstration that PKD1 suppresses NT-induced JNK/cJun activation in PANC-1 cells. In contrast, PKD1 overexpression markedly increased the duration of NT-induced ERK activation in these cells. The reciprocal influence of PKD1 signaling on pro-mitogenicERK and pro-apopotic JNK/c-Jun pathways prompted us to examine whether PKD1 overexpression promotes DNA synthesis and proliferation of PANC-1 cells. Our results show that PKD1 overexpression increased DNA synthesis and cell numbers of PANC-1 cells cultured in regular dishes or in polyhydroxyethylmethacrylate [Poly-(HEMA)]-coated dishes to eliminate cell adhesion (anchorage-independent growth). Furthermore, PKD1 overexpression markedly enhanced DNA synthesis induced by NT (1-10 nM). These results indicate that PKD1 mediates mitogenic signaling in PANC-1 and suggests that this enzyme could be a novel target for the development of therapeutic drugs that restrict the proliferation of these cells.