FOXO3 is essential for CD44 expression in pancreatic cancer cells
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most fatal types of cancer and the 5-year survival rate is only 5%. Several studies have suggested that cancer stem cells (CSCs) are thought to be involved in recurrence and metastasis and so it is essential to establish an approach targeting CSCs. Here we have demonstrated that cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) suppressed CD44 expression and the properties of CSCs in PDAC. Microarray analysis suggested that cGMP inhibited Forkhead box O3 (FOXO3), which is known as a tumor suppressor. Surprisingly, our data demonstrated that FOXO3 is essential for CD44 expression and the properties of CSCs. Our data also indicated that patients with high FOXO3 activation signatures had poor prognoses. This evidence suggested that cGMP induction and FOXO3 inhibition could be ideal candidates for pancreatic CSC.