Role of plexind1/tgfβ signaling axis in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma progression correlates with the mutational status of kras

Sneha Vivekanandhan, Vijay S. Madamsetty, Ramcharan Singh Angom, Shamit Kumar Dutta, Enfeng Wang, Thomas Caulfield, Alexandre A. Pletnev, Rosanna Upstill-Goddard, Yan W. Asmann, David Chang, Mark R. Spaller, Debabrata Mukhopadhyay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

PLEXIND1 is upregulated in several cancers, including pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). It is an established mediator of semaphorin signaling, and neuropilins are its known core-ceptors. Herein, we report data to support the proposal that PLEXIND1 acts as a transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) coreceptor, modulating cell growth through SMAD3 signaling. Our find-ings demonstrate that PLEXIND1 plays a pro-tumorigenic role in PDAC cells with oncogenic KRAS (KRASmut). We show in KRASmut PDAC cell lines (PANC-1, AsPC-1,4535) PLEXIND1 downregula-tion results in decreased cell viability (in vitro) and reduced tumor growth (in vivo). Conversely, PLEXIND1 acts as a tumor suppressor in the PDAC cell line (BxPC-3) with wild-type KRAS (KRASwt), as its reduced expression results in higher cell viability (in-vitro) and tumor growth (in vivo). Additionally, we demonstrate that PLEXIND1-mediated interactions can be selectively dis-rupted using a peptide based on its C-terminal sequence (a PDZ domain-binding motif), an outcome that may possess significant therapeutic implications. To our knowledge, this is the first report showing that (1) PLEXIND1 acts as a TGFβ coreceptor and mediates SMAD3 signaling, and (2) dif-ferential roles of PLEXIND1 in PDAC cell lines correlate with KRASmut and KRASwt status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4048
JournalCancers
Volume13
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2 2021

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