SEL1L expression in pancreatic adenocarcinoma parallels SMAD4 expression and delays tumor growth in vitro and in vivo

Monica Cattaneo, Simonetta Orlandini, Stefania Beghelli, Patrick S. Moore, Claudio Sorio, Antonio Bonora, Claudio Bassi, Giorgio Talamini, Giuseppe Zamboni, Rosaria Orlandi, Sylvie Ménard, Luigi Rossi Bernardi, Ida Biunno, Aldo Scarpa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent data suggest that SEL1L may play an important role in pancreatic carcinoma, similar to breast cancer, where the expression of SEL1L has been associated with a reduction in both proliferative activity in vitro and clinical tumor aggressiveness. To investigate this possibility, we examined the expression of Sel1L in a series of primary pancreatic carcinomas by immunohistochemistry and characterized the effects of Sel1L overexpression both in vitro and in vivo. In 74 pancreatic cancers analysed, 36% lacked Sel1L expression, although there was no significant correlation between the expression of Sel1L and any clinicopathologic parameter, including survival. However, immunohistochemical reactivity for Sel1L and Dpc4/ Smad4 was concordant in 69% of cases (χ2 test P <0.004). Overexpression of SEl1L in stably transfected pancreatic cancer cells caused both a decrease in clonogenicity and anchorage-independent growth as well as a significant increase in the levels of activin A and SMAD4. When implanted in nude mice, Suit-2-SEL1L-overexpressing clones displayed a considerably reduced rate of tumor growth. Thus, it can be hypothesized that Sel1L plays an important function in the growth and aggressiveness of pancreatic carcinoma. Moreover, our data provide evidence that SEL1L has an impact on the expression of genes involved in regulation of cellular growth, possibly through the TGF-β signaling pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6359-6368
Number of pages10
Issue number41
Publication statusPublished - Sep 25 2003


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • DPC4/Smad4
  • Pancreas
  • SEL1L
  • TGFβ-pathway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics


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