Gemcitabine resistant pancreatic cancer cell lines acquire an invasive phenotype with collateral hypersensitivity to histone deacetylase inhibitors

Betty K. Samulitis, Kelvin W. Pond, Erika Pond, Anne E. Cress, Hitendra Patel, Lee Wisner, Charmi Patel, Robert T. Dorr, Terry H. Landowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Gemcitabine based treatment is currently a standard first line treatment for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, however overall survival remains poor, and few options are available for patients that fail gemcitabine based therapy. To identify potential molecular targets in gemcitabine refractory pancreatic cancer, we developed a series of gemcitabine resistant (GR) cell lines. Initial drug exposure selected for an early resistant phenotype that was independent of drug metabolic pathways. Prolonged drug selection pressure after 16 weeks, led to an induction of cytidine deaminase (CDA) and enhanced drug detoxification. Cross resistance profiles demonstrate approximately 100-fold cross resistance to the pyrimidine nucleoside cytarabine, but no resistance to the same in class agents, azacytidine and decitabine. GR cell lines demonstrated a dose dependent collateral hypersensitivity to class I and II histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors and decreased expression of 3 different global heterochromatin marks, as detected by H4K20me3, H3K9me3 and H3K27me3. Cell morphology of the drug resistant cell lines demonstrated a fibroblastic type appearance with loss of cell-cell junctions and an altered microarray expression pattern, using Gene Ontology (GO) annotation, consistent with progression to an invasive phenotype. Of particular note, the gemcitabine resistant cell lines displayed up to a 15 fold increase in invasive potential that directly correlates with the level of gemcitabine resistance. These findings suggest a mechanistic relationship between chemoresistance and metastatic potential in pancreatic carcinoma and provide evidence for molecular pathways that may be exploited to develop therapeutic strategies for refractory pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-51
Number of pages9
JournalCancer biology & therapy
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • CDA, cytidine deaminase
  • HDAC
  • HDAC, histone deacetylase
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • SAHA, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid
  • chemotherapy resistance
  • gemcitabine
  • invasion
  • qRT-PCR, Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research

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