Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is an aggressive tumor characterized by the presence of an abundant stromal compartment contributing significantly to the malignant phenotype. Pancreatic stellate cells are peculiar fibroblasts present in the stroma and represent the predominant source of extracellular matrix proteins, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and growth factors, including hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). Exploiting a co-culture system of human pancreatic stellate cells and cancer cells, we demonstrated that fibroblast activation was reduced upon HGF/MET axis inhibition. To unveil the signaling pathways sustaining stroma modulation orchestrated by MET activation in the tumor, we analyzed the gene expression profile in pancreatic cancer cells stimulated with HGF and treated with HGF/MET inhibitors. Transcriptome analysis showed that, among all the genes modulated by HGF, a subset of 125 genes was restored to the basal level following treatment with the inhibitors. By examining these genes via ingenuity pathway analysis, tenascin C emerged as a promising candidate linking MET signaling and tumor microenvironment. MET-dependent tenascin C modulation in pancreatic cancer cells was validated at RNA and protein levels both in vitro and in vivo. In conclusion, this work identifies tenascin C as a gene modulated by MET activation, suggesting a role in MET-mediated tumor-stroma interplay occurring during pancreatic tumor progression.

Hgf/met axis induces tumor secretion of tenascin-c and promotes stromal rewiring in pancreatic cancer

Modica C.;Olivero M.;Zuppini F.;Basilico C.;Vigna E.
2021

Abstract

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is an aggressive tumor characterized by the presence of an abundant stromal compartment contributing significantly to the malignant phenotype. Pancreatic stellate cells are peculiar fibroblasts present in the stroma and represent the predominant source of extracellular matrix proteins, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and growth factors, including hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). Exploiting a co-culture system of human pancreatic stellate cells and cancer cells, we demonstrated that fibroblast activation was reduced upon HGF/MET axis inhibition. To unveil the signaling pathways sustaining stroma modulation orchestrated by MET activation in the tumor, we analyzed the gene expression profile in pancreatic cancer cells stimulated with HGF and treated with HGF/MET inhibitors. Transcriptome analysis showed that, among all the genes modulated by HGF, a subset of 125 genes was restored to the basal level following treatment with the inhibitors. By examining these genes via ingenuity pathway analysis, tenascin C emerged as a promising candidate linking MET signaling and tumor microenvironment. MET-dependent tenascin C modulation in pancreatic cancer cells was validated at RNA and protein levels both in vitro and in vivo. In conclusion, this work identifies tenascin C as a gene modulated by MET activation, suggesting a role in MET-mediated tumor-stroma interplay occurring during pancreatic tumor progression.
CANCERS
13
14
3519
3532
Hepatocyte growth factor; MET oncogene; Metastasis; Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; Tenascin C; Tumor microenvironment
Modica C.; Olivero M.; Zuppini F.; Milan M.; Basilico C.; Vigna E.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1823171
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