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PLoS One. 2013 Sep 9;8(9):e73940. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073940. eCollection 2013.

DCLK1 regulates pluripotency and angiogenic factors via microRNA-dependent mechanisms in pancreatic cancer.

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1
Department of Medicine, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States of America ; Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States of America ; The Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States of America.

Abstract

Stem cell pluripotency, angiogenesis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) have been shown to be significantly upregulated in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and many other aggressive cancers. The dysregulation of these processes is believed to play key roles in tumor initiation, progression, and metastasis, and is contributory to PDAC being the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US. The tumor suppressor miRNA miR-145 downregulates critical pluripotency factors and oncogenes and results in repressed metastatic potential in PDAC. Additionally, the miR-200 family regulates several angiogenic factors which have been linked to metastasis in many solid tumors. We have previously demonstrated that downregulation of DCLK1 can upregulate critical miRNAs in both in vitro and in vivo cancer models and results in downregulation of c-MYC, KRAS, NOTCH1 and EMT-related transcription factors. A recent report has also shown that Dclk1 can distinguish between normal and tumor stem cells in Apc (min/+) mice and that ablation of Dclk1(+) cells resulted in regression of intestinal polyps without affecting homeostasis. Here we demonstrate that the knockdown of DCLK1 using poly(lactide-co-glycolide)-encapsulated-DCLK1-siRNA results in AsPC1 tumor growth arrest. Examination of xenograft tumors revealed, (a) increased miR-145 which results in decreased pluripotency maintenance factors OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, KLF4 as well as KRAS and RREB1; (b) increased let-7a which results in decreased pluripotency factor LIN28B; and (c) increased miR-200 which results in decreased VEGFR1, VEGFR2 and EMT-related transcription factors ZEB1, ZEB2, SNAIL and SLUG. Specificity of DCLK1 post-transcriptional regulation of the downstream targets of miR-145, miR-200 and let-7a was accomplished utilizing a luciferase-based reporter assay. We conclude that DCLK1 plays a significant master regulatory role in pancreatic tumorigenesis through the regulation of multiple tumor suppressor miRNAs and their downstream pro-tumorigenic pathways. This novel concept of targeting DCLK1 alone has several advantages over targeting single pathway or miRNA-based therapies for PDAC.

PMID:
24040120
PMCID:
PMC3767662
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0073940
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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