Liu S, Ballian N, Belaguli NS, Patel S, Li M, Templeton NS, Gingras MC, Gibbs R, Fisher W, Brunicardi FC.

Pancreas. 2008 Aug;37(2):210-20. doi: 10.1097/MPA.0b013e31816a4a33.

Michael E DeBakey Department of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.



The purpose of this study was to investigate whether pancreatic and duodenal homeobox factor 1 (PDX-1) could serve as a potential molecular target for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.


Cell proliferation, invasion capacity, and protein levels of cell cycle mediators were determined in human pancreatic cancer cells transfected with mouse PDX-1 (mPDX-1) alone or with mPDX-1 short hairpin RNA (shRNA) and/or human PDX-1 shRNA (huPDX-1 shRNA). Tumor cell growth and apoptosis were also evaluated in vivo in PANC-1 tumor-bearing severe combined immunodeficient mice receiving multiple treatments of intravenous liposomal huPDX-1 shRNA.


mPDX-1 overexpression resulted in the significant increase of cell proliferation and invasion in MIA PaCa2, but not PANC-1 cells. This effect was blocked by knocking down mPDX-1 expression with mPDX-1 shRNA. Silencing of huPDX-1 expression in PANC-1 cells inhibited cell proliferation in vitro and suppressed tumor growth in vivo which was associated with increased tumor cell apoptosis. PDX-1 overexpression resulted in dysregulation of the cell cycle with up-regulation of cyclin D, cyclin E, and Cdk2 and down-regulation of p27.


PDX-1 regulates cell proliferation and invasion in human pancreatic cancer cells. Down-regulation of PDX-1 expression inhibits pancreatic cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo, implying its use as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

PMID: 18665085 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]