Due to the poor prognosis of pancreatic cancer, novel diagnostic modalities for early diagnosis and new therapeutic strategy are urgently needed. Recently, microRNA-21 (miR-21) was reported to be strongly overexpressed in pancreatic cancer as well as in other solid cancers. We investigated the functional roles of miR-21, which have not been fully elucidated in pancreatic cancer. miR-21 expression was assessed in pancreatic cancer cell lines (14 cancer cell lines, primary cultures of normal pancreatic epithelial cells and fibroblasts, and a human normal pancreatic ductal epithelial cell line) and pancreatic tissue samples (25 cancer tissues and 25 normal tissues) by quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR amplification. Moreover, we investigated the proliferation, invasion, and chemoresistance of pancreatic cancer cells transfected with miR-21 precursor or inhibitor. miR-21 was markedly overexpressed in pancreatic cancer cells compared with nonmalignant cells, and miR-21 in cancer tissues was much higher than in nonmalignant tissues. The cancer cells transfected with the miR-21 precursor showed significantly increased proliferation, Matrigel invasion, and chemoresistance for gemcitabine compared with the control cells. In contrast, inhibition of miR-21 decreased proliferation, Matrigel invasion, and chemoresistance for gemcitabine. Moreover, miR-21 positively correlated with the mRNA expression of invasion-related genes, matrix metalloproteinase-2 and -9, and vascular endothelial growth factor. These data suggest that miR-21 expression is increased in pancreatic cancer cells and that miR-21 contributes to the cell proliferation, invasion, and chemoresistance of pancreatic cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research