Recepteur d'origine nantais (Ron) is overexpressed in a panel of pancreatic cancer cells and tissue samples from pancreatic cancer patients. Ron can be activated by its ligand macrophage stimulating protein (MSP), thereby activating oncogenic signaling pathways. Crosstalk between Ron and EGFR, c-Met, or IGF-1R may provide a mechanism underlying drug resistance. Thus, targeting Ron may represent a novel therapeutic strategy. IMC-RON8 is the first Ron monoclonal antibody (mAb) entering clinical trial for targeting Ron overexpression. Our studies show IMC-RON8 downmodulated Ron expression in pancreatic cancer cells and significantly blocked MSP-stimulated Ron activation, downstream Akt and ERK phosphorylation, and survivin mRNA expression. IMC-RON8 hindered MSP-induced cell migration and reduced cell transformation. Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) are reported to target expression of various genes through modification of nucleosome histones and non-histone proteins. Our work shows HDACi TSA and Panobinostat (PS) decreased Ron mRNA and protein expression in pancreatic cancer cells. PS also reduced downstream signaling of pAkt, survivin, and XIAP, as well as enhanced cell apoptosis. Interestingly, PS reduced colony formation in Ron knockdown cells to a greater extent than Ron scramble control cells in colony formation and soft agarose assays. IMC-RON8 could also sensitize pancreatic cancer cells to PS, as reflected by reduced colony numbers and size in combination treatment with IMC-RON8 and PS compared to single treatment alone. The co-treatment further reduced Ron expression and pAkt, and increased PARP cleavage compared to either treatment alone. This study suggests the potential for a novel combination approach which may ultimately be of value in treatment of pancreatic cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)