The Expression of Chemokine Genes Correlates with Nuclear Factor-κB Activation in Human Pancreatic Cancer Cell Lines

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Summary:Chemokines may regulate the process of immune cell infiltration that is often found in pancreatic cancer. In this study, we investigated the secretion of the chemokines [interleukin (IL)-8, monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, and RANTES (regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted)] in human pancreatic cancer cell lines. The chemokine secretion in three pancreatic cancer cell lines (PANC-1, MIA PaCa-2, and BxPC-3) was evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Northern blot, and the activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and NF-IL6 was assessed by an electrophoretic gel mobility shift assay (EMSA). Without any stimulation, IL-8 secretion was detected in all cell lines, and MCP-1 secretion was detected in PANC-1 and MIA PaCa-2 cells. However, RANTES secretion was not detected in all cells. The addition of IL-1β and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α strongly enhanced IL-8, MCP-1, and RANTES secretion; these responses were observed at the mRNA level as well as at the protein level. IL-1β and TNF-α induced a rapid activation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB in PANC-1 cells, and the increase in chemokine mRNA expression correlated with NF-κB activation. The activation of NF-IL6 was modest. A blockade of NF-κB activation by TPCK markedly reduced the IL-1β- and TNF-α–induced chemokine gene expression. Our findings indicate that chemokines are produced by pancreatic cancer cells, and suggest that these factors may contribute to the accumulation of tumor-associated immune cells. In addition, the transcriptional activation of chemokine genes in pancreatic cancer cells may be closely associated with NF-κB activation.

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