A KrasG12D-driven genetic mouse model of pancreatic cancer requires glypican-1 for efficient proliferation and angiogenesis

Oncogene. 2012 May 17;31(20):2535-44. doi: 10.1038/onc.2011.430. Epub 2011 Sep 26.


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDACs) exhibit multiple molecular alterations and overexpress heparin-binding growth factors (HBGFs) and glypican-1 (GPC1), a heparan sulfate proteoglycan that promotes efficient signaling by HBGFs. It is not known, however, whether GPC1 has a role in genetic mouse models of PDAC. Therefore, we generated a GPC1 null mouse that combines pancreas-specific Cre-mediated activation of oncogenic Kras (Kras(G12D)) with deletion of a conditional INK4A/Arf allele (Pdx1-Cre;LSL-Kras(G12D);INK4A/Arf(lox/lox);GPC1(-/-) mice). By comparison with Pdx1-Cre;LSL-Kras(G12D);INK4A/Arf(lox/lox) mice that were wild type for GPC1, the Pdx1-Cre;LSL-Kras(G12D);INK4A/Arf(lox/lox);GPC1(-/-) mice exhibited attenuated pancreatic tumor growth and invasiveness, decreased cancer cell proliferation and mitogen-activated protein kinase activation. These mice also exhibited suppressed angiogenesis in conjunction with decreased expression of messenger RNAs encoding several pro-angiogenic factors and molecules, including vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A), SRY-box containing gene (SOX17), chemokine C-X3-C motif ligand 1 (CX3CL1) and integrin β3 (ITGB3). Moreover, pancreatic cancer cells isolated from the tumors of GPC1(-/-) mice were not as invasive in response to fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) as cancer cells isolated from wild-type mice, and formed smaller tumors that exhibited an attenuated metastatic potential. Similarly, VEGF-A and FGF-2 did not enhance the migration of hepatic endothelial cells and immortalized murine embryonic fibroblasts isolated from GPC1 null mice. These data demonstrate in an oncogenic Kras-driven genetic mouse model of PDAC that tumor growth, angiogenesis and invasion are enhanced by GPC1, and suggest that suppression of GPC1 may be an important component of therapeutic strategies in PDAC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal* / blood supply
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal* / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal* / pathology
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Chemokine CX3CL1 / genetics
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / genetics
  • Genes, ras*
  • Glypicans / genetics*
  • HMGB Proteins / genetics
  • Integrin beta3 / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / genetics
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / genetics*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology
  • SOXF Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / genetics


  • Chemokine CX3CL1
  • Cx3cl1 protein, mouse
  • Glypicans
  • HMGB Proteins
  • Integrin beta3
  • SOXF Transcription Factors
  • Sox17 protein, mouse
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2