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Pancreatic cancer

Plectin (PLEC)

In vitro and mouse studies suggest inhibiting PLEC could help treat pancreatic cancer. Compared with human pancreatic epithelial cells, human pancreatic cancer cell lines expressed higher surface levels of PLEC and produced exosomes containing increased levels of PLEC. In the cancer cell lines, PLEC shRNA decreased exosome secretion, proliferation, migration and invasiveness compared with a scrambled control shRNA. In both immunocompromised and immunocompetent mice, injection of a human pancreatic cell line after PLEC shRNA knockdown decreased both pancreatic tumor burden and the number of metastases compared with injection of unmodified cells. Future studies could include identifying antibodies blocking surface PLEC and testing them in mouse models of pancreatic cancer.

SciBX 6(48); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1386
Published online Dec. 19, 2013

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Shin, S.J. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA;
published online Nov. 11, 2013;
Contact: Kimberly A. Kelly,
University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science, Charlottesville, Va.