Knockdown of LRP/LR induces apoptosis in pancreatic cancer and neuroblastoma cells through activation of caspases

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The 37 kDa/67 kDa laminin receptor (LRP/LR) serves various physiological and pathological roles such as enhancing tumour-related processes including metastasis, angiogenesis, cellular viability and telomerase activation in cancerous cell lines. The present study investigates the effect of siRNA mediated downregulation of LRP/LR on pancreatic cancer (AsPC-1) and neuroblastoma (IMR-32) cells. MTT and BrdU assays revealed that siRNA mediated downregulation of LRP resulted in a significant reduction in cell viability and cell proliferation. In addition, knock-down of LRP resulted in phosphatidylserine externalization, diminished nuclear integrity and significantly enhanced caspase-3 activity, which is indicative of apoptosis. LRP downregulation resulted in a significant increase in caspase-8 activity in IMR-32 cells and enhanced caspase-8 and 9 activity in AsPC-1 cells. These data recommend siRNA mediated knock-down of LRP as a potential therapeutic avenue for the treatment of pancreatic cancer and neuroblastoma.

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