Transcriptional silencing of ETS-1 abrogates epithelial-mesenchymal transition resulting in reduced motility of pancreatic cancer cells

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Abstract

v-ets erythroblastosis virus E26 oncogene homolog 1 (ETS-1) plays crucial roles in a spectrum of malignancies. ETS-1 has gained attention in cancer research for its importance in cell migration, invasion and proliferation. In the present study, we focused on the effect of ETS-1 on epithelialmesenchymal transition (EMT), which is characterized by reduced E-cadherin expression and increased N-cadherin expression. We found that ETS-1 mRNA expression was positively correlated with N-cadherin and negatively correlated with E-cadherin mRNA expression in five pancreatic cancer cell lines. To elucidate the functionality of ETS-1 on EMT in pancreatic cancer cells, we constructed a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing plasmid carrying ETS-1 short hairpin RNA (shRNA), and transfected Panc-1 cells with the plasmid. We detected reduced N-cadherin and vascular endothelial growth factor yet higher E-cadherin expression in the ETS-1-silenced cells compared with the control group. In addition, we observed reduced cell migration and increased adhesion in these cells. Our data showed that ETS-1 actively functioned as a regulator of EMT in Panc-1 cells, and provide additional evidence supporting a fundamental role for ETS-1 in metastatic pancreatic cancer cells. These results suggest that analysis of ETS-1 expression levels may provide an avenue for evaluating prognosis in pancreatic cancer.

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Li, C., Wang, Z., Chen, Y., Zhou, M., Zhang, H., Chen, R., … Rui, Z. (2015). Transcriptional silencing of ETS-1 abrogates epithelial-mesenchymal transition resulting in reduced motility of pancreatic cancer cells. Oncology Reports, 33(2), 559–565. https://doi.org/10.3892/or.2014.3613

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