Correlations among PPARγ, DNMT1, and DNMT3B expression levels and pancreatic cancer

Valerio Pazienza, Francesca Tavano, Giorgia Benegiamo, Manlio Vinciguerra, Francesca Paola Burbaci, Massimiliano Copetti, Fabio Francesco Di Mola, Angelo Andriulli, Pierluigi Di Sebastiano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Emerging evidence indicates that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) and DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) play a role in carcinogenesis. In this study we aimed to evaluate the expression of PPARγ, DNMT1, and DNMT3B and their correlation with clinical-pathological features in patients with pancreatic cancer (PC), and to define the effect of PPARγ activation on DNMTs expression in PC cell lines. qRT-PCR analysis showed that DNMT3B expression was downregulated in tumors compared to normal tissues (P = 0.03), whereas PPARγ and DNMT1 levels did not show significant alterations in PC patients. Expression levels between PPARγ and DNMT1 and between DNMT1 and DNMT3B were highly correlated (P = 0.008 and P = 0.05 resp.). DNMT3B overexpression in tumor tissue was positively correlated with both lymph nodes spreading (P = 0.046) and resection margin status (P = 0.04), and a borderline association with perineural invasion (P = 0.06) was found. Furthermore, high levels of DNMT3B expression were significantly associated with a lower mortality in the whole population (HR = 0.485; 95 CI = 0.262 0.895, P = 0.02) and in the subgroup of patients without perineural invasion (HR = 0.314; 95 CI = 0.130 0.758; P = 0.01), while such association was not observed in patients with tumor invasion into perineural structures (P = 0.70). In conclusion, in vitro and in vivo PPARγ and DNMTs appear interrelated in PC, and this interaction might influence cell phenotype and disease behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Article number461784
JournalPPAR Research
Publication statusPublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Drug Discovery

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