Therapy of human pancreatic carcinoma based on suppression of HMGA1 protein synthesis in preclinical models

Francesco Trapasso, Manuela Sarti, Rossano Cesari, Sai Yendamuri, Kristoffel R. Dumon, Rami I. Aqeilan, Francesca Pentimalli, Luisa Infante, Hansjuerg Alder, Nobutsugu Abe, Takashi Watanabe, Giuseppe Viglietto, Carlo M. Croce, Alfredo Fusco*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Pancreatic carcinoma is one of the most aggressive tumors, and, being refractory to conventional therapies, is an excellent target for new therapeutic approaches. Based on our previous finding of high HMGA1 expression in pancreatic cancer cells compared to normal pancreatic tissue, we evaluated whether suppression of HMGA1 protein expression could be a treatment option for patients affected by pancreatic cancer. Here we report that HMGA1 proteins are overexpressed in pancreatic carcinoma cell lines, and their downregulation through an adenovirus carrying the HMGA1 gene in an antisense orientation (Ad Yas-GFP) results in the death of three human pancreatic carcinoma cell lines (PANC1, Hs766T and PSN1). Pretreatment of PANC1 and PSN1 cells with Ad Yas-GFP suppressed and reduced, respectively, their ability to form xenograft tumors in nude mice. To further verify the role of HMGA1 in pancreatic tumorigenesis, we used a HMGA1 antisense phosphorothioate oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN); its addition induced a decrease in HMGA1 protein levels and a significant reduction of the proliferation rate of PANC1-, Hs766T- and PSN1-treated cells. Therefore, suppression of HMGA1 protein synthesis by an HMGA1 antisense approach seems to be a feasible treatment strategy in pancreatic carcinomas.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)633-641
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Gene Therapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro (AIRC), by the Programma Italia-USA sulla Terapia dei Tumori coordinated by Professor Cesare Peschle, Progetto Finalizzato ‘‘Biotecnologie’’ of Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Progetto ‘‘5%’’ of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, and the MURST Project ‘‘Terapie antineoplastiche innovative’’. We are indebted to Jean Gilder for editing the text and we are also grateful to David Fineman for his friendly support to our group.


  • Adenovirus
  • Apoptosis
  • HMGA1
  • Pancreatic carcinoma


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