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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Analysis of invasion-metastasis mechanism in pancreatic cancer: involvement of tight junction transmembrane protein occludin and MEK/ ERK signal transduction pathway in cancer cell dissociation.

Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 2 (MEK2) was detected as an invasion-metastasis related factor between highly invasive (PC-1.0) and weakly invasive (PC-1) pancreatic cancer cell lines in our previous study. On the other hand, tight junction (TJ) was found to be correlated with carcino-genesis and tumor development. In this study, the expressions and correlation of TJ transmembrane protein occludin and MEK/extracellular signal-regulated kinase ( ERK) signaling pathway were analyzed to clarify the regulatory mechanism of cell dissociation in pancreatic cancer cells. Two hamster (PC-1.0 and PC-1) and human (AsPC-1 and CAPAN-2) pancreatic cancer cell lines were analyzed immunocytochemically with anti-occludin, phosphorylated MEK1/2 (p-MEK1/2), phosphorylated ERK1/2 (p-ERK1/2) antibodies. MEK1/2 inhibitor U0126 significantly induced the expression of occludin at the cell-cell junction and substantially suppressed the p-MEK1/2 and p-ERK1/2 expressions in PC-1.0 and AsPC-1 cells. In contrast, dissociation factor (DF) treatment obviously disrupted the occludin expressions at the sites of cell-cell junction and markedly induced the p-MEK1/2 and p-ERK1/2 expressions in PC-1 and CAPAN-2 cells. In addition, occludin expressions at cell-cell junction were restored and p-MEK1/2 and p-ERK1/2 expressions were suppressed by subsequent U0126-treatment in DF treated PC-1 and CAPAN-2 cells. Correspondingly, light microscopic images showed that DF induced the dissociation of cell island-like colonies in PC-1 and CAPAN-2 cells, and U0126-treatment induced cell aggregation in these pancreatic cancer cells. Occludin is involved in the cell dissociation in pancreatic cancer cells. Moreover, MEK/ ERK signaling pathway probably regulates the cell dissociation status of pancreatic cancer through influencing the intracellular localization and expression of occludin.[1]


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