MUC1c regulates cell survival in pancreatic cancer by preventing lysosomal permeabilization

Academic Article


  • Background: MUC1 is a type I transmembrane glycoprotein aberrantly overexpressed in various cancer cells including pancreatic cancer. The cytosolic end of MUC1 (MUC1-c) is extensively involved in a number of signaling pathways. MUC1-c is reported to inhibit apoptosis in a number of cancer cells, but the mechanism of inhibition is unclear. Method: Expression of MUC1-c was studied in the pancreatic cancer cell line MIAPaCa-2 at the RNA level by using qRTPCR and at the protein level by Western blotting. MUC1-c expression was inhibited either by siRNA or by a specific peptide inhibitor, GO-201. Effect of MUC1-c inhibition on viability and proliferation and lysosomal permeabilization were studied. Association of MUC1-c with HSP70 was detected by co-immunoprecipitation of MUC1-c and HSP70. Localization of MUC1-c in cellular organelles was monitored by immunofluorescence and with immuno- blotting by MUC1-c antibody after subcellular fractionation. Results: Inhibition of MUC1-c by an inhibitor (GO-201) or siRNA resulted in reduced viability and reduced proliferation of pancreatic cancer cells. Furthermore, GO-201, the peptide inhibitor of MUC1-c, was effective in reducing tumor burden in pancreatic cancer mouse model. MUC1-c was also found to be associated with HSP70 in the cytosol, although a significant amount of MUC1 was also seen to be present in the lysosomes. Inhibition of MUC1 expression or activity showed an enhanced Cathepsin B activity in the cytosol, indicating lysosomal permeabilization. Therefore this study indicates that MUC1-c interacted with HSP70 in the cytosol of pancreatic cancer cells and localized to the lysosomes in these cells. Further, our results showed that MUC1-c protects pancreatic cancer cells from cell death by stabilizing lysosomes and preventing release of Cathepsin B in the cytosol. © 2012 Banerjee et al.
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  • PLoS ONE  Journal
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    Author List

  • Banerjee S; Mujumdar N; Dudeja V; Mackenzie T; Krosch TK; Sangwan V; Vickers SM; Saluja AK
  • Volume

  • 7
  • Issue

  • 8