Interplay of tumor microenvironment and MUC4 in pancreatic cancer. Clinically, MUC4 mucin is aberrantly overexpressed in pancreatic cancer (PC) tissues and its expression is associated with poor prognosis (1). Studies from our laboratory have conclusively established that MUC4 is involved in enhanced motility, invasiveness and drug resistance of tumor cells in vitro and promotes tumorigenicity and metastasis in vivo (2). MUC4 upregulation is one of the early events in pancreatic cancer as indicated by its upregulation in precursor lesions (3). Our previous studies have demonstrated that MUC4 expression in pancreatic cancer cells in part is regulated by cytokines like IFN- y which are potentially secreted by cells of tumor/inflamed pancreas microenvironment. Inflammation is regarded as a precursor to cancer and in case of pancreatic cancer the increasing evidence supporting the association of pancreatitis to pancreatic cancer risk/development underscores the importance of inflammation in this lethal malignancy. It is thus not surprising that like high MUC4 levels, high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1 &IL-12) in tumor correlates with poor prognosis (4). Given the importance of inflammation and involvement of MUC4 in pancreatic cancer development, and regulation of MUC4 by inflammatory cytokines like IFN- y, the overall objective of this proposal is to understand the modulation of MUC4 expression by tumor microenvironment Another aspect of MUC4 and tumor microenvironment is the ability of MUC4 to interact with and possibly modulate the components of extracellular matrix via the unique domain (NIDO). However, to keep the proposal focused and avoid overlap with our ongoing studies the emphasis of the current application is on the regulation of MUC4 by tumor microenvironment (TME).

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Nebraska Medical Center
United States
Zip Code
Macha, M A; Rachagani, S; Pai, P et al. (2015) MUC4 regulates cellular senescence in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma through p16/Rb pathway. Oncogene 34:1698-708
Wakaskar, Rajesh R; Bathena, Sai Praneeth R; Tallapaka, Shailendra B et al. (2015) Peripherally cross-linking the shell of core-shell polymer micelles decreases premature release of physically loaded combretastatin A4 in whole blood and increases its mean residence time and subsequent potency against primary murine breast tumors after I Pharm Res 32:1028-44
Zhu, Yu; Li, Jing; Kanvinde, Shrey et al. (2015) Self-immolative polycations as gene delivery vectors and prodrugs targeting polyamine metabolism in cancer. Mol Pharm 12:332-41
Vaz, A P; Ponnusamy, M P; Rachagani, S et al. (2014) Novel role of pancreatic differentiation 2 in facilitating self-renewal and drug resistance of pancreatic cancer stem cells. Br J Cancer 111:486-96
Joshi, Suhasini; Kumar, Sushil; Choudhury, Amit et al. (2014) Altered Mucins (MUC) trafficking in benign and malignant conditions. Oncotarget 5:7272-84
Souchek, J J; Baine, M J; Lin, C et al. (2014) Unbiased analysis of pancreatic cancer radiation resistance reveals cholesterol biosynthesis as a novel target for radiosensitisation. Br J Cancer 111:1139-49
Kaur, Sukhwinder; Sharma, Neil; Krishn, Shiv Ram et al. (2014) MUC4-mediated regulation of acute phase protein lipocalin 2 through HER2/AKT/NF-*B signaling in pancreatic cancer. Clin Cancer Res 20:688-700
Liu, Xiang; Yi, Chunhui; Wen, Yunfei et al. (2014) Interactions between MUC1 and p120 catenin regulate dynamic features of cell adhesion, motility, and metastasis. Cancer Res 74:1609-20
Momi, Navneet; Kaur, Sukhwinder; Rachagani, Satyanarayana et al. (2014) Smoking and microRNA dysregulation: a cancerous combination. Trends Mol Med 20:36-47
Stark, Jaime L; Mehla, Kamiya; Chaika, Nina et al. (2014) Structure and function of human DnaJ homologue subfamily a member 1 (DNAJA1) and its relationship to pancreatic cancer. Biochemistry 53:1360-72

Showing the most recent 10 out of 28 publications