Purpose: To evaluate the relevance between lumican expression patterns and the clinical course of patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), and to investigate the role of lumican in PDAC progression.
Experimental Design: One hundred thirty-one patient tumors were chosen for tissue microarray staining, and Cox regression analysis was used to test the associations between lumican expression and clinical, pathologic, and oncologic outcomes in all patients. Primary PDAC cells and recombinant human lumican protein were used to establish a working model to mimic the in vivo interactions between stromal lumican and PDAC cells. Using this model, we tested the effects of lumican on EGFR signaling via Akt and hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF1α) and its subsequent influence on glucose consumption, lactate production, intracellular ATP, and apoptotic cell death.
Results: Lumican was present in the stroma surrounding PDAC cells in roughly one-half of primary tumors and the direct xenografts. Patients with stromal lumican were associated with a profound reduction in metastatic recurrence after surgery and 3-fold longer survival than patients without stromal lumican. In PDAC cells, extracellular lumican reduced EGFR expression and phosphorylation through enhanced dimerization and internalization of EGFR and the resultant inhibition of Akt kinase activity. Lumican also reduced HIF1a expression and activity via Akt. PDAC cells with enhanced HIF1α activity were resistant to lumican-induced inhibition of glucose consumption, lactate production, intracellular ATP, and apoptosis.
Conclusions: There is a positive association between stromal lumican in primary PDAC tumors and prolonged survival after tumor resection. Lumican plays a restrictive role in EGFR-expressing pancreatic cancer progression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research