Key drug-targeting genes in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Genes Cancer. 2021 Mar 11;12:12-24. doi: 10.18632/genesandcancer.210. eCollection 2021.


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a highly lethal type of cancer. In this study, we undertook a pairwise comparison of gene expression pattern between tumor tissue and its matching adjacent normal tissue for 45 PDAC patients and identified 22 upregulated and 32 downregulated genes. PPI network revealed that fibronectin 1 and serpin peptidase inhibitor B5 were the most interconnected upregulated-nodes. Virtual screening identified bleomycin exhibited reasonably strong binding to both proteins. Effect of bleomycin on cell viability was examined against two PDAC cell lines, AsPC-1 and MIA PaCa-2. AsPC-1 did not respond to bleomycin, however, MIA PaCa-2 responded to bleomycin with an IC50 of 2.6 μM. This implicates that bleomycin could be repurposed for the treatment of PDAC, especially in combination with other chemotherapy agents. In vivo mouse xenograft studies and patient clinical trials are warranted to understand the functional mechanism of bleomycin towards PDAC and optimize its therapeutic efficacy. Furthermore, we will evaluate the antitumor activity of the other identified drugs in our future studies.

Keywords: differentially expressed genes; fibronectin 1; pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; protein-protein interaction network (PPI); serpin peptidase inhibitor B5.