Proteomic analyses of ECM during pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma progression reveal different contributions by tumor and stromal cells.
ABSTRACT: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has prominent extracellular matrix (ECM) that compromises treatments yet cannot be nonselectively disrupted without adverse consequences. ECM of PDAC, despite the recognition of its importance, has not been comprehensively studied in patients. In this study, we used quantitative mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics to characterize ECM proteins in normal pancreas and pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN)- and PDAC-bearing pancreas from both human patients and mouse genetic models, as well as chronic pancreatitis patient samples. We describe detailed changes in both abundance and complexity of matrisome proteins in the course of PDAC progression. We reveal an early up-regulated group of matrisome proteins in PanIN, which are further up-regulated in PDAC, and we uncover notable similarities in matrix changes between pancreatitis and PDAC. We further assigned cellular origins to matrisome proteins by performing MS on multiple lines of human-to-mouse xenograft tumors. We found that, although stromal cells produce over 90% of the ECM mass, elevated levels of ECM proteins derived from the tumor cells, but not those produced exclusively by stromal cells, tend to correlate with poor patient survival. Furthermore, distinct pathways were implicated in regulating expression of matrisome proteins in cancer cells and stromal cells. We suggest that, rather than global suppression of ECM production, more precise ECM manipulations, such as targeting tumor-promoting ECM proteins and their regulators in cancer cells, could be more effective therapeutically.
Project description:Tian C, Clauser KR, Ohlund D, Rickelt S, Huang Y, Lidstrom T, Franklin O, Gupta M, Mani DR, Carr SA, Tuveson DA, and Hynes RO. PNAS 2019. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has prominent extracellular matrix (ECM) that compromises treatments, yet cannot be non-selectively disrupted without adverse consequences. ECM of PDAC, despite the recognition of its importance, has not been comprehensively studied in patients. In this study, we used quantitative mass-spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics to characterize ECM proteins in normal pancreas, pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN)- and PDAC-bearing pancreas from both human patients and mouse genetic models, as well as chronic pancreatitis patient samples. We describe detailed changes in abundance and complexity of matrisome proteins in the course of PDAC progression. We reveal an early upregulated group of matrisome proteins in PanIN, which are further upregulated in PDAC and we uncover notable similarities in matrix changes between pancreatitis and PDAC. We further assigned cellular origins to matrisome proteins by performing MS on multiple lines of human-to-mouse xenograft tumors. We found that, although stromal cells produce over 90% of the ECM mass, elevated levels of ECM proteins derived from the tumor cells, but not those produced exclusively by stromal cells, tend to correlate with poor patient survival. Furthermore, distinct pathways were implicated in regulating expression of matrisome proteins in cancer cells and stromal cells. We suggest that, rather than global suppression of ECM production, more precise ECM manipulations, such as targeting tumor-promoting ECM proteins and their regulators in cancer cells, could be more effective therapeutically.
Project description:Activating mutations in the KRAS oncogene are prevalent in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). We previously demonstrated that pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) formation, which precedes malignant transformation, associates with the expression of immediate early response 3 (Ier3) as part of a prooncogenic transcriptional pathway. Here, we evaluated the role of IER3 in PanIN formation and PDAC development. In human pancreatic cancer cells, IER3 expression efficiently sustained ERK1/2 phosphorylation by inhibiting phosphatase PP2A activity. Moreover, IER3 enhanced KrasG12D-dependent oncogenesis in the pancreas, as both PanIN and PDAC development were delayed in IER3-deficient KrasG12D mice. IER3 expression was discrete in healthy acinar cells, becoming highly prominent in peritumoral acini, and particularly high in acinar ductal metaplasia (ADM) and PanIN lesions, where IER3 colocalized with phosphorylated ERK1/2. However, IER3 was absent in undifferentiated PDAC, which suggests that the IER3-dependent pathway is an early event in pancreatic tumorigenesis. IER3 expression was induced by both mild and severe pancreatitis, which promoted PanIN formation and progression to PDAC in KrasG12D mice. In IER3-deficient mice, pancreatitis abolished KrasG12D-induced proliferation, which suggests that pancreatitis enhances the oncogenic effect of KRAS through induction of IER3 expression. Together, our data indicate that IER3 supports KRASG12D-associated oncogenesis in the pancreas by sustaining ERK1/2 phosphorylation via phosphatase PP2A inhibition.
Project description:The prognosis for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains poor despite decades of effort. The abundant extracellular matrix (ECM) in PDAC comprises a major fraction of the tumor mass and plays various roles in promoting resistance to therapies. However, nonselective depletion of ECM has led to poor patient outcomes. Consistent with that observation, we previously showed that individual matrisome proteins derived from stromal cells correlate with either long or short patient survival. In marked contrast, those derived from cancer cells correlate strongly with poor survival. Here, we studied three cancer cell-derived matrisome proteins that are significantly overrepresented during PDAC progression, AGRN (agrin), SERPINB5 (serine protease inhibitor B5), and CSTB (cystatin B). Using both overexpression and knockdown experiments, we demonstrate that all three are promoters of PDAC metastasis. Furthermore, these proteins operate at different metastatic steps. AGRN promoted epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in primary tumors, whereas SERPINB5 and CSTB enhanced late steps in the metastatic cascade by elevating invadopodia formation and in vivo extravasation. All three genes were associated with a poor prognosis in human patients and high levels of SERPINB5, secreted by cancer cells and deposited in the ECM, correlated with poor patient prognosis. This study provides strong evidence that cancer cell-derived matrisome proteins can be causal in promoting tumorigenesis and metastasis and lead to poor patient survival. Therefore, compared with the bulk matrix, mostly made by stromal cells, precise interventions targeting cancer cell-derived matrisome proteins, such as AGRN, SERPINB5, and CSTB, may represent preferred potential therapeutic targets. SIGNIFICANCE: This study provides insights into the biological roles of cancer cell-derived matrisome proteins in PDAC and supports the notion that these proteins are protumorigenic and better therapeutic targets.
Project description:Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the USA. Surgical resection is the only effective treatment; however, only 20% of patients are candidates for surgery. The ability to detect early PDAC would increase the availability of surgery and improve patient survival. This study assessed the feasibility of using the enzymatic activity of cathepsin E (Cath E), a protease highly and specifically expressed in PDAC, as a novel biomarker for the detection of pancreas-bearing pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) lesions and PDAC.Pancreas from normal, chronic pancreatitis and PDAC patients was assessed for Cath E expression by quantitative real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry. Human PDAC xenografts and genetically engineered mouse models (GEMM) of PDAC were injected with a Cath E activity selective fluorescent probe and imaged using an optical imaging system.The specificity of Cath E expression in PDAC patients and GEMM of pancreatic cancer was confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry. The novel probe for Cath E activity specifically detected PDAC in both human xenografts and GEMM in vivo. The Cath E sensitive probe was also able to detect pancreas with PanIN lesions in GEMM before tumour formation.The elevated Cath E expression in PanIN and pancreatic tumours allowed in-vivo detection of human PDAC xenografts and imaging of pancreas with PanIN and PDAC tumours in GEMM. Our results support the usefulness of Cath E activity as a potential molecular target for PDAC and early detection imaging.
Project description:Persistent acinar to ductal metaplasia (ADM) is a recently recognized precursor of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Here we show that the ADM area of human pancreas tissue adjacent to PDAC expresses significantly higher levels of regenerating protein 3A (REG3A). Exogenous REG3A and its mouse homolog REG3B induce ADM in the 3D culture of primary human and murine acinar cells, respectively. Both Reg3b transgenic mice and REG3B-treated mice with caerulein-induced pancreatitis develop and sustain ADM. Two out of five Reg3b transgenic mice with caerulein-induced pancreatitis show progression from ADM to pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN). Both in vitro and in vivo ADM models demonstrate activation of the RAS-RAF-MEK-ERK signaling pathway. Exostosin-like glycosyltransferase 3 (EXTL3) functions as the receptor for REG3B and mediates the activation of downstream signaling proteins. Our data indicates that REG3A/REG3B promotes persistent ADM through binding to EXTL3 and activating the RAS-RAF-MEK-ERK signaling pathway. Targeting REG3A/REG3B, its receptor EXTL3, or other downstream molecules could interrupt the ADM process and prevent early PDAC carcinogenesis.
Project description:Annexins are a multigene family of calcium and phospholipid-binding proteins that play important roles in calcium signaling, cell motility, differentiation and proliferation. Our previous mass spectrometry-based proteomics study revealed that annexin A10 (ANXA10) was uniquely overexpressed in pancreatic CD24+ adenocarcinoma cells that were dissected from clinical PDAC tissues but was absent in CD24- adjacent normal cells. The correlation between ANXA10 expression and the progression of pancreatic cancer remains unknown. In this study, we performed an immunostaining assay to evaluate ANXA10 expression in 155 primary human tissue specimens, including normal pancreas, chronic pancreatitis (CP), pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC), pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN, the most important precursor of PDAC), and intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN). The immunostaining result showed that ANXA10 was significantly overexpressed in PanINs, IPMNs, and PDACs but negative in normal pancreas and the majority of chronic pancreatitis tissues. Statistical analysis revealed that ANXA10 expression was significantly associated with PDAC and its precursor lesions (p<0.0001). Abundant ANXA10 expression was predominantly present in pancreatic ductal epithelial cells of PanINs, IPMNs, and tumor cells of PDACs. Since PDAC develops through a series of PanINs which in turn arise from pancreatic ducts, the consistent overexpression of ANXA10 in ductal epithelial cells in PanINs and PDACs but negative in normal pancreatic ducts suggests that ANXA10 could serve as a potential marker indicating the presence of PDAC at its earliest precancerous stages. Double immunostaining of ANXA10 and CD24 showed that there was a large overlap between these two markers in PDAC and high-grade neoplasia lesions. The statistical analysis showed that the coexpression of ANXA10 and CD24 was significantly correlated with the progression of pancreatic precursor lesions towards PDACs.
Project description:Extracellular matrix (ECM) is an important component of the pancreatic microenvironment which regulates ? cell proliferation, differentiation, and insulin secretion. Protocols have recently been developed for the decellularization of the human pancreas to generate functional scaffolds and hydrogels. In this work, we characterized human pancreatic ECM composition before and after decellularization using isobaric dimethylated leucine (DiLeu) labeling for relative quantification of ECM proteins. A novel correction factor was employed in the study to eliminate the bias introduced during sample preparation. In comparison to the commonly employed sample preparation methods (urea and FASP) for proteomic analysis, a recently developed surfactant and chaotropic agent assisted sequential extraction/on pellet digestion (SCAD) protocol has provided an improved strategy for ECM protein extraction of human pancreatic ECM matrix. The quantitative proteomic results revealed the preservation of matrisome proteins while most of the cellular proteins were removed. This method was compared with a well-established label-free quantification (LFQ) approach which rendered similar expressions of different categories of proteins (collagens, ECM glycoproteins, proteoglycans, etc.). The distinct expression of ECM proteins was quantified comparing adult and fetal pancreas ECM, shedding light on the correlation between matrix composition and postnatal ? cell maturation. Despite the distinct profiles of different subcategories in the native pancreas, the distribution of matrisome proteins exhibited similar trends after the decellularization process. Our method generated a large data set of matrisome proteins from a single tissue type. These results provide valuable insight into the possibilities of constructing a bioengineered pancreas. It may also facilitate better understanding of the potential roles that matrisome proteins play in postnatal ? cell maturation.
Project description:Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is largely incurable due to late diagnosis. Superior early detection biomarkers are critical to improving PDAC survival and risk stratification.Optimized meta-analysis of PDAC transcriptome datasets identified and validated key PDAC biomarkers. PDAC-specific expression of a 5-gene biomarker panel was measured by qRT-PCR in microdissected patient-derived FFPE tissues. Cell-based assays assessed impact of two of these biomarkers, TMPRSS4 and ECT2, on PDAC cells.A 5-gene PDAC classifier (TMPRSS4, AHNAK2, POSTN, ECT2, SERPINB5) achieved on average 95% sensitivity and 89% specificity in discriminating PDAC from non-tumor samples in four training sets and similar performance (sensitivity = 94%, specificity = 89.6%) in five independent validation datasets. This classifier accurately discriminated PDAC from chronic pancreatitis (AUC = 0.83), other cancers (AUC = 0.89), and non-tumor from PDAC precursors (AUC = 0.92) in three independent datasets. Importantly, the classifier distinguished PanIN from healthy pancreas in the PDX1-Cre;LSL-KrasG12D PDAC mouse model. Discriminatory expression of the PDAC classifier genes was confirmed in microdissected FFPE samples of PDAC and matched surrounding non-tumor pancreas or pancreatitis. Notably, knock-down of TMPRSS4 and ECT2 reduced PDAC soft agar growth and cell viability and TMPRSS4 knockdown also blocked PDAC migration and invasion.This study identified and validated a highly accurate 5-gene PDAC classifier for discriminating PDAC and early precursor lesions from non-malignant tissue that may facilitate early diagnosis and risk stratification upon validation in prospective clinical trials. Cell-based experiments of two overexpressed proteins encoded by the panel, TMPRSS4 and ECT2, suggest a causal link to PDAC development and progression, confirming them as potential therapeutic targets.
Project description:<h4>Aims</h4>While overexpression of TGF? has been reported in human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), mice with overexpressed TGF? develop premalignant pancreatic acinar-to-ductal metaplasia (ADM) but not PDAC. TGF-? signaling pathway is pivotal to the development of PDAC and tissue fibrosis. Here we sought to investigate the interplay between TGF? and TGF-? signaling in pancreatic tumorigenesis and fibrosis, namely via Smad4 inactivation.<h4>Methods</h4>The MT-TGF? mouse was crossed with a new Smad4 conditional knock-out mouse (Smad4flox/flox;p48-Cre or S4) to generate Smad4flox/flox;MT-TGF?;p48-Cre (STP). After TGF? overexpression was induced with zinc sulfate water for eight months, the pancreata of the STP, MT-TGF?, and S4 mice were examined for tumor development and fibrotic responses. PanIN lesions and number of ducts were counted, and proliferation was measured by Ki67 immunohistochemistry (IHC). Qualitative analysis of fibrosis was analyzed by Trichrome Masson and Sirius Red staining, while vimentin was used for quantification. Expression analyses of fibrosis, pancreatitis, or desmoplasia associated markers (?-SMA, Shh, COX-2, Muc6, Col1a1, and Ctgf) were performed by IHC and/or qRT-PCR.<h4>Results</h4>Our STP mice exhibited advanced ADM, increased fibrosis, increased numbers of PanIN lesions, overexpression of chronic pancreatitis-related marker Muc6, and elevated expression of desmoplasia-associated marker Col1A1, compared to the MT-TGF? mice. The inactivation of Smad4 in the exocrine compartment was responsible for both the enhanced PanIN formation and fibrosis in the pancreas. The phenotype of the STP mice represents a transient state from ADMs to PanINs, closely mimicking the interface area seen in human chronic pancreatitis associated with PDAC.<h4>Conclusion</h4>We have documented a novel mouse model, the STP mice, which displayed histologic presentations reminiscent to those of human chronic pancreatitis with signs of early tumorigenesis. The STP mice could be a suitable animal model for interrogating the transition of chronic pancreatitis to pancreatic cancer.