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Mol Cancer Ther. 2002 Jan;1(3):161-7.

Soluble type II transforming growth factor-beta receptor attenuates expression of metastasis-associated genes and suppresses pancreatic cancer cell metastasis.

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Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Biological Chemistry, and Pharmacology, University of California, Irvine, California 92697, USA.


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a deadly malignancy that frequently metastasizes and that overexpresses transforming growth factor-beta s (TGF-beta s). To determine whether TGF-beta s can act to enhance the metastatic potential of PDAC, PANC-1 human pancreatic cancer cells were transfected with an expression construct encoding a soluble type II TGF-beta receptor (sT beta RII) that blocks cellular responsiveness to TGF-beta 1. When injected s.c. in athymic mice, PANC-1 clones expressing sT beta RII exhibited decreased tumor growth in comparison with sham-transfected cells and attenuated expression of plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1), a gene associated with tumor growth. When tested in an orthotopic mouse model, these clones formed small intrapancreatic tumors that exhibited a suppressed metastatic capacity and decreased expression of plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 and the metastasis-associated urokinase plasminogen activator. These results indicate that TGF-beta s act in vivo to enhance the expression of genes that promote the growth and metastasis of pancreatic cancer cells and suggest that sT beta RII may ultimately have a therapeutic benefit in PDAC.

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