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.
- Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research