Transcriptional silencing of ETS-1 efficiently suppresses angiogenesis of pancreatic cancer

L. P. Lefter, S. Dima, M. Sunamura, T. Furukawa, Y. Sato, M. Abe, M. Chivu, I. Popescu, A. Horii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we addressed the hypothesis that transcriptional suppression of erythroblastosis virus E26 oncogene homolog 1 (ETS-1) is an efficient therapeutic approach to pancreatic adenocarcinoma by investigating the effect of ETS-1 suppression in human pancreatic cancer cells. We accomplished this by using an adenoviral vector encoding only the DNA-binding domain of wild-type ETS-1 (ETS-1 dominant negative, ETS-1-DN). ETS-1-DN decreases ETS-1-binding by competing for its binding to DNA. Adenoviral-mediated transfer of ETS-1-DN (adenoviral ETS-1-DN construct, AdETS-1-DN) into pancreatic tumor cell lines did not affect their proliferation rate in vitro but did significantly inhibit their in vivo growth in nude mice. Furthermore, to test the efficacy of ETS-1-DN in vivo, we injected the AdETS-1-DN into established human pancreatic adenocarcinomas grown in nude mice. This treatment significantly reduced tumor size as compared to saline injection, without any detectable side effects. Microvessel density in mouse xenografts displayed significantly lower values in tumors in which ETS-1 was downregulated. In addition, expression of the ETS-1-DN in the pancreatic cancer cells resulted in downregulation of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA) and metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) expression. Taken together, these data suggest that transcriptional inactivation of ETS-1 is able to significantly affect angiogenesis and growth of pancreatic cancer. This effect may be due in part to downregulation of MMP-1 and u-PA expression. Our results suggest that ETS-1-DN is a promising candidate for antiangiogenic gene therapy in pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-148
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Gene Therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Feb


  • Angiogenesis
  • ETS-1
  • Pancreatic cancer


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