Prostaglandin E2 enhances pancreatic cancer invasiveness through an Ets-1-dependent induction of matrix metalloproteinase-2

Hiromichi Ito, Mark Duxbury, Eric Benoit, Thomas E. Clancy, Michael J. Zinner, Stanley W. Ashley, Edward E. Whang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Accumulating evidence suggests an important role for cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in the pathogenesis of a wide range of malignancies. Here we tested the hypothesis that the COX-2 product prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) increases cellular invasive potential by inducing matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) expression and activity through an extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)/Ets-1- dependent mechanism in pancreatic cancer. PANC-1 and MIAPaCa-2 pancreatic cancer cells were treated with PGE2 or rofecoxib, a selective COX-2 inhibitor. MMP-2 expression and activity were assayed using Western blot analysis and zymography, respectively. MMP-2 promoter activity was analyzed with a luciferase-based assay. Ets-1 activity was analyzed using gel shift assay. Ets-1 expression was specifically silenced using RNA interference. Cellular invasive and migratory potentials were determined using a Boyden chamber assay with or without Matrigel, respectively. Exogenous PGE2 induced MMP-2 expression and activity and increased ERK1/2 phosphorylation, Ets-1 binding activity, and MMP-2 promoter activity. PGE2 also increased cellular migratory and invasive potentials. The mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase inhibitor PD98059 and Ets-1 silencing each abolished PGE2-induced increases in MMP-2 expression. PD98059 and Ets-1 silencing each abrogated the effect of PGE2 on cellular invasive potential but not on cellular migratory potential. Rofecoxib suppressed MMP-2 expression and activity, Ets-1 binding activity, MMP-2 promoter activity, and cellular migratory and invasive potentials. These results suggest that PGE 2 mediates pancreatic cancer cellular invasiveness through an ERK/Ets-1-dependent induction of MMP-2 expression and activity. They also suggest that COX-2 inhibition may represent a strategy to inhibit invasive potential in pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7439-7446
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Research
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2004
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Cite this

Ito, H., Duxbury, M., Benoit, E., Clancy, T. E., Zinner, M. J., Ashley, S. W., & Whang, E. E. (2004). Prostaglandin E2 enhances pancreatic cancer invasiveness through an Ets-1-dependent induction of matrix metalloproteinase-2. Cancer Research, 64(20), 7439-7446.