Signaling pathways in pancreatic cancer

Crit Rev Eukaryot Gene Expr. 2011;21(2):115-29. doi: 10.1615/critreveukargeneexpr.v21.i2.20.


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a deadly malignancy characterized by a plethora of molecular alterations that include major and minor driving mutations, the presence of intense desmoplasia exhibiting numerous proliferating pancreatic stellate cells (PSC) and cancer-associated fibroblasts that produce fibronectin and collagens, and foci of inflammatory cells that produce mitogenic cytokines. This review will focus on signaling by tyrosine kinase receptors, and the role of transforming growth factor beta in this malignancy is described briefly. Potential for therapeutic interventions will be discussed in relation to specific pathways.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met / metabolism
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor / genetics
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Receptors, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / genetics
  • Receptors, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Receptors, Somatomedin / genetics
  • Receptors, Somatomedin / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism


  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor
  • Receptors, Somatomedin
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Receptors, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor