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Activated pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) with an increased proliferation and migration ability are the partners in crime with pancreatic cancer cells. Acid-sensing ion channel 1 (ASIC1) is expressed in pancreatic cancer and PSCs, and especially, it mediates the activation of PSCs. However, whether ASIC1 is involved in pancreatic cancer cells-induced biological behavior re-educating of PSCs is unclear. In this study, the change of ASIC1 expression in PSCs and pancreatic cancer Panc-1 cells after in-direct co-culture was detected by western blotting, and the proliferation and migration of PSCs with ASIC1 knockdown under Panc-1 cells-conditioned medium (Panc-1-CM) was assessed. The results showed that pancreatic cancer cells induced ASIC1 overexpression, and the enhanced proliferation and migration of PSCs was weakened by ASIC1 inhibition. In addition, the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) expression in PSCs remained stable, but the phosphorylated ERK (p-ERK) expression in PSCs treated with Panc-1-CM increased, which was suppressed by ASIC1 knockdown. These results indicate that ASIC1 participates in the regulation of PSCs proliferation and migration induced by cancer cells via the ERK pathway, and ASIC1 inhibition may be beneficial to pancreatic cancer treatment.


Lei Zhu, Jianmei Yin, Fuhong Zheng, Lianfeng Ji, Yingqing Yu, Haibo Liu. ASIC1 inhibition impairs the proliferation and migration of pancreatic stellate cells induced by pancreatic cancer cells. Neoplasma. 2021 Jan;68(1):174-179

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PMID: 33516168

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