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PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e38625. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0038625. Epub 2012 Jun 18.

YM155 induces EGFR suppression in pancreatic cancer cells.

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Institute for Innovate Cancer Research, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.


YM155, which inhibits the anti-apoptotic protein survivin, is known to exert anti-tumor effects in various cancers, including prostate and lung cancer. However, there are few reports describing the inhibitory effect of YM155 on human pancreatic cancers that highly express survivin. Here, we tested the effects of YM155 on a variety of cancer cell lines, including pancreatic cancer cells. We found that YM155 exerts an anti-proliferative effect in pancreatic cancer cells, inducing cell death through suppression of XIAP (X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis) as well as survivin without affecting the anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-xL or Mcl-1. YM155 also inhibited tumor growth in vivo, reducing the size of pancreatic cancer cell line MIAPaCa-2 xenografts by 77.1% on day 31. Western blot analyses further showed that YM155 downregulated phosphoinoside 3-kinase (PI3K) expression and reduced the levels of phosphorylated (activated) extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3) in PANC-1 cells. Interestingly, we also found that YM155 downregulated the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in various cancer cell lines and induced the EGFR phosphorylation and ubiquitination of EGFR in PANC-1 cells. YM155 also modestly promoted the ubiquitination of survivin and XIAP. Therefore, YM155 acts through modulation of EGFR and survivin expression to subsequently reduce survival. We suggest that YM155 has potential as a therapeutic agent in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

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