Understanding signaling mechanism in pancreatic cancer

Understanding signaling mechanism in pancreatic cancer

The development of pancreatic cancer requires the acquisition of oncogenic KRas mutations and upregulation of growth factor signaling, but the relationship between these is not well established.

Researchers show that mutant KRas alters mitochondrial metabolism in pancreatic acinar cells, resulting in increased generation of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mROS). Mitochondrial ROS then drives the dedifferentiation of acinar cells to a duct-like progenitor phenotype and progression to PanIN.

This is mediated via the ROS-receptive kinase protein kinase D1 and the transcription factors NF-κB1 and NF-κB2, which upregulate expression of the epidermal growth factor, its ligands, and their sheddase ADAM17.

In vivo, interception of KRas-mediated generation of mROS reduced the formation of pre-neoplastic lesions.

Hence, this data provide insight into how oncogenic KRas interacts with growth factor signaling to induce the formation of pancreatic cancer.