Knockdown of Snail Sensitizes Pancreatic Cancer Cells to Chemotherapeutic Agents and Irradiation

Kejun Zhang; Xuelong Jiao; Xiaoyi Liu; Bingyuan Zhang; Jigang Wang; Quan Wang; Yan Tao; Dianliang Zhang
December 2010
International Journal of Molecular Sciences;Dec2010, Vol. 11 Issue 12, p4891
Academic Journal
The prognosis of patients with pancreatic cancer remains poor; only patients with small tumors and complete resection have a chance of a complete cure. Pancreatic cancer responds poorly to conventional therapies, including chemotherapy and irradiation. Snail is a transcription factor that has been associated with anti-apoptotic and chemoresistant properties in pancreatic cancer cells. In this study, we investigated whether knockdown of Snail suppresses growth of and/or sensitizes pancreatic cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agents and irradiation through induction of apoptosis. An adeno-associated virus vector was used to deliver Snail siRNA and knockdown Snail expression in untreated pancreatic cancer cells and in pancreatic cancer cells treated with chemotherapeutic agents or ?-irradiation. Our data indicate that our adeno-associated virus vector can efficiently deliver Snail siRNA into PANC-1 cells both in vitro and in vivo, resulting in the knockdown of Snail expression at the mRNA and protein levels. We further show that knockdown of Snail expression results in potent growth suppression of pancreatic cancer cells and suppresses xenograft tumor growth in vivo through induction of apoptosis. Finally, knockdown of Snail expression significantly sensitizes pancreatic cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agents and γ-irradiation through induction of apoptosis. In conclusion, our findings indicate that Snail is an important modulator of therapeutic responses of pancreatic cancer cells and is potentially useful as a sensitizer in pancreatic cancer therapy.


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