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Cancer Gene Ther. 2001 Oct;8(10):740-50.

Adenovirus-mediated wt-p16 reintroduction induces cell cycle arrest or apoptosis in pancreatic cancer.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.


Pancreatic cancer has long carried poor prognosis. The development of new therapeutic approaches is particularly urgent. Inactivation of the tumor-suppressor gene p16(INK4a/CDKN2), a specific inhibitor of the cyclin-dependent kinases CDK4 and CDK6, is the most common genetic alteration in human pancreatic cancer, making it an ideal target for gene replacement. Here we transfected tumor cells using a recombinant adenovirus containing the wt-p16 cDNA (Ad5RSV-p16). The overexpression of p16 decreased cell proliferation in all four human pancreatic tumor cell lines (NP-9, NP-18, NP-29, and NP-31). However, G1 arrest and senescence were observed in only three. In contrast, the fourth (NP-18) showed a significant increase in apoptosis. This differential behavior may be related to the differences found in the expression level of E2F-1. Experiments on subcutaneous pancreatic xenografts demonstrated the effectiveness of p16 in the inhibition of pancreatic tumor growth in vivo. Taken together, our results indicate that approaches involving p16 replacement are promising in pancreatic cancer treatment.

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