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Cancer Lett. 2016 Oct 1;380(2):513-22. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2016.06.025. Epub 2016 Jul 15.

African Americans with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma exhibit gender differences in Kaiso expression.

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Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Troy University, Troy, AL 36082, USA.
Department of Biology and Center for Cancer Research, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL 36088, USA.
Department of Genetics, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.
College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL 32307, USA.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana.
Department of Biology and Center for Cancer Research, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL 36088, USA. Electronic address:


Kaiso, a bi-modal transcription factor, regulates gene expression, and is elevated in breast, prostate, and colon cancers. Depletion of Kaiso in other cancer types leads to a reduction in markers for the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) (Jones et al., 2014), however its clinical implications in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDCA) have not been widely explored. PDCA is rarely detected at an early stage but is characterized by rapid progression and invasiveness. We now report the significance of the subcellular localization of Kaiso in PDCAs from African Americans. Kaiso expression is higher in the cytoplasm of invasive and metastatic pancreatic cancers. In males, cytoplasmic expression of Kaiso correlates with cancer grade and lymph node positivity. In male and female patients, cytoplasmic Kaiso expression correlates with invasiveness. Also, nuclear expression of Kaiso increases with increased invasiveness and lymph node positivity. Further, analysis of the largest PDCA dataset available on ONCOMINE shows that as Kaiso increases, there is an overall increase in Zeb1, which is the inverse for E-cadherin. Hence, these findings suggest a role for Kaiso in the progression of PDCAs, involving the EMT markers, E-cadherin and Zeb1.


EMT markers; Kaiso; Pancreatic ductal carcinoma

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Conflict of interest statement

None of the authors have any conflicts of interest to report on this project.

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