Decreased expression and promoter methylation of the menin tumor suppressor in pancreatic ductal Adenocarcinoma

Ilaria Cavallari, Silic Benussi Micol, Francesca Rende, Annalisa Martines, Paola Fogar, Daniela Basso, Manuela Della Vella, Sergio Pedrazzoli, James G. Herman, Chieco-Bianchi Luigi Chieco-Bianchi, Giovanni Esposito, Vincenzo Ciminale, Donna A. D'Agostino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Loss of menin, a tumor suppressor coded by the MENI gene, is a key factor in the pathogenesis of multiple endocrine neoplasia type I and in a percentage of sporadic endocrine tumors of the pancreas and parathyroid glands. This study investigated expression of the menin protein in the normal exocrine pancreas and in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the most common pancreatic tumor. Immunofluorescence (IF) analyses showed that menin is expressed at high levels in normal acinar and duct cells. Examination of 24 clinical samples of PDAC revealed a pronounced decrease in menin expression in all tumors examined. To identify alterations underlying this defect, we searched for disruption and epigenetic silencing of the MENI gene. Analysis of nine laser-microdissected tumors revealed loss of heterozygosity of intragenic (one tumor) or adjacent (three tumors) MENI microsatellite markers. Methylation of CpG sites in the MENI promoter was documented in five of 24 tumors. IF analyses also revealed low to undetectable menin expression in the PDAC cell lines MiaPaCa-2 and Panc-1. Ectopic expression of menin in these cells resulted in a marked alteration of the cell cycle, with an increase in the G1/S+G2 ratio. These findings represent the first evidence that the MENI gene is a target of mutation and methylation in PDAC and that menin influences the cell cycle profile of duct cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-396
Number of pages14
JournalGenes Chromosomes and Cancer
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics
  • Medicine(all)


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