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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 26

of 'Molecular pathogenesis of exocrine pancreatic cancer'

Loss of methylthioadenosine phosphorylase and elevated ornithine decarboxylase is common in pancreatic cancer.
Subhi AL, Tang B, Balsara BR, Altomare DA, Testa JR, Cooper HS, Hoffman JP, Meropol NJ, Kruger WD
Clin Cancer Res. 2004;10(21):7290.
PURPOSE: Loss of the methylthioadenosine phosphorylase (MTAP) gene at 9p21 is observed frequently in a variety of human cancers. We have shown previously that MTAP can act as a tumor suppressor gene and that its tumor suppressor function is related to its effect on polyamine homeostasis. Ornithine decarboxylase is a key enzyme in the regulation of polyamine metabolism. The aim of this study is to analyze MTAP and ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) expression in primary pancreatic tumor specimens.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We measured MTAP and ODC activity in protein extracts derived from 30 surgically resected tumor samples and eight normal pancreas samples. In a subset of six samples, we also examined MTAP DNA using interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization. In addition, we examined the effect of the ODC inhibitor difluoromethylornithine on two pancreatic adenocarcinoma-derived cell lines.
RESULT: MTAP activity was 2.8-fold reduced in adenocarcinomas and 6.3-fold reduced in neuroendocrine tumors compared with control pancreas. Conversely, ODC activity was 3.6-fold elevated in adenocarcinomas and 3.9-fold elevated in neuroendocrine tumors compared with control pancreas. Using interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization, we found in tumor samples that 43 to 75% of the nuclei had lost at least one copy of MTAP locus, indicating that loss of MTAP activity was at least partially because of deletion of the MTAP locus. We also show that inhibition of ODC by difluoromethylornithine caused decreased cell growth and increased apoptosis in two MTAP-deleted pancreatic adenocarcinoma-derived cell lines.
CONCLUSIONS: MTAP activity is frequently lost, and ODC activity is frequently elevated in both pancreatic adenocarcinoma and neuroendocrine tumors. Inhibition of ODC activity caused decreased cell growth and increased apoptosis in pancreatic tumor-derived cell lines. These findings suggest that MTAP and polyamine metabolism could be potential therapeutic targets in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
Division of Population Science, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19111, USA.