The Role of Chromosome 18 Abnormalities in the Progression of Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma

Makoto Sunamura, Liviu P. Lefter, Dan G. Duda, Rina Morita, Hiroko Inoue, Tadaaki Yokoyama, Toshimasa Yatsuoka, Tadayoshi Abe, Shinichi Egawa, Toru Furukawa, Shinichi Fukushige, Mitsuo Oshimura, Akira Horii, Seiki Matsuno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


To date, the events that mediate tumor progression in pancreatic cancer are still poorly understood. Cytogenetic, allelotype, and somatic cell hybrid studies in human pancreatic adenocarcinoma have suggested that chromosome 18 may carry tumor suppressor genes (TSGs), including SMAD4. We previously identified that LOH of 18q at the SMAD4 locus, along with LOHs on 17p and 12q, positively associated with poor prognoses of pancreatic cancer patients. However, restoration of the SMAD4 gene did not suppress in vitro proliferation of pancreatic cancer cells that harbored homozygous deletion of this gene. An intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) is thought to be one of the premalignant lesions of the pancreas that progresses to carcinoma. Although there were frequent LOH (7/14, 50%) at the SMAD4 locus in IPMN samples, SMAD4 protein was observed immunohistochemically in tumor cells, and no mutations of the SMAD4 gene were observed, suggesting that it is the existence of a TSG in 18q, other than SMAD4, that suppresses cell growth. To functionally assess the activity of chromosome 18 in pancreatic cancer, we transferred a normal copy of the chromosome into pancreatic ductal carcinoma cells with and without completely inactivated SMAD4. In this study, in vitro growth of the hybrid cells was significantly suppressed compared with the parental cells, regardless of the initial SMAD4 status. To estimate the metastatic ability of the hybrids, we used a lung colonization model. At the end of the experiment, there was significant suppression of the number of surface metastases developing in mice injected with hybrids in comparison with those injected with parental cells. To identify and characterize genes that are involved in the progression of pancreatic cancer, we used microarray expression analysis employing a 20k oligo-array system. It was revealed that there was increased expression of 4 genes relating to apoptosis in the 18 chromosome hybrids cells compared with the parental cells. We are now analyzing the function of these genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-316
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Apr


  • Chromosome 18
  • Chromosome transfer
  • Microarray
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • SMAD4


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