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Oct 2006 FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Probing the human kinome for kinases involved in pancreatic cancer cell survival and gemcitabine resistance.


Giroux V, Iovanna J, Dagorn JC


Except for gemcitabine, chemotherapeutic agents are ineffective with pancreatic adenocarcinoma because this cancer is resistant to apoptosis induction. Involvement of specific kinases in such resistance is likely. We developed a systematic strategy to screen the human kinome and select kinases whose inhibition in pancreatic cancer cells can increase 1) spontaneous apoptosis or 2) gemcitabine-induced apoptosis. The pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell line MiaPaCa-2 was transfected with 645 pairs of siRNAs directed to all human kinases. The same experiment was conducted in cells treated with 150 microM gemcitabine. Apoptosis was measured after 2 days and the results were normalized for cell viability. A panel of 56 kinases whose inhibition increased spontaneous apoptosis by at least 50% was established. Ten of them gave similar results on Panc1 and BxPC3 pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell lines. A panel of 83 kinases whose inhibition increased gemcitabine-induced apoptosis by 50% or more was also established. Twelve kinases appeared in both panels. A cumulative increase in apoptosis was observed when inhibiting simultaneously several kinases. Such a systematic approach allowed characterization of all kinases involved in pancreatic cancer cell survival and resistance to gemcitabine. Inhibitors of these kinases, used alone or in combination, might improve the treatment of pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

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