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Am J Pathol. 2006 Mar;168(3):962-72.

Inhibition of SRC expression and activity inhibits tumor progression and metastasis of human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells in an orthotopic nude mouse model.

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Department of Cancer Biology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


The nonreceptor protein tyrosine kinase Src is overexpressed in 70% of pancreatic adenocarcinomas. Here, we describe the effect of molecular and pharmacological down-regulation of Src on incidence, growth, and metastasis of pancreatic tumor cells in an orthotopic model. Src expression in L3.6pl human pancreatic tumor cells was reduced by stable expression of a plasmid encoding small interfering RNA (siRNA) to c-src. In stable siRNA clones, Src expression was reduced >80%, with no change in expression of the related kinases c-Yes and c-Lyn, and proliferation rates were similar in all clones. Phosphorylation of Akt and p44/42 Erk mitogen-activated protein kinase and production of VEGF and IL-8 in culture supernatants were also reduced (P < 0.005). On orthotopic implantation of varying cell numbers into nude mice, tumor incidence was unchanged; however, in the siRNA clones, large tumors failed to develop, and incidence of metastasis was significantly reduced, suggesting that c-Src activity is critical to tumor progression. To examine this possibility further, animals bearing established wild-type tumors were treated with the Src/Abl-selective inhibitor BMS-354825 (dasatinib). Tumor size was decreased, and incidence of metastases was significantly reduced in treated mice compared with controls. These results demonstrate that Src activation contributes to pancreatic tumor progression in this model, offering Src as a candidate for targeted therapy.

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