Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the most aggressive tumor malignancy worldwide, mainly due to uncontrolled metastasis. Among the numerous molecules deregulated in PDAC, different members of the Akt pathways are of great importance because they are involved in tumor cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. We have recently demonstrated that Vav1, ectopically expressed in solid tumors, is capable of down-modulating expression and/or activation of specific Akt isoforms in breast cancer cells. By using pancreatic cell lines expressing different basal levels of Vav1, we demonstrated here that Vav1 down-regulates the expression of Akt2, known to correlate with tumor metastases and resistance to therapy. In particular, while the silencing of Vav1 is sufficient to induce Akt2, its up-modulation reduces Akt2 levels only when Vav1 accumulates inside the nucleus of PDAC cells. Moreover, in PDAC tissues, we revealed that high nuclear levels of Vav1 correlate with low Akt2 expression. Although we cannot demonstrate the mechanisms involved, our results provide new insights into the role of Vav1 in PDAC and, as targeting specific members of the Akt family is a promising therapeutic chance in solid tumors, they suggest that Vav1, by down-modulating Akt2, has potential as a molecular target in PDAC.
- Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
- Targeting Akt pathways
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)