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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractPancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is an extremely lethal cancer that is difficult to treat. A better understanding of the biology of pancreatic ductal cancer will help to develop targeted therapies that may improve clinical outcomes. Recently, the lipid signaling molecule sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) has emerged as a driver of malignant behavior in many types of cancer. Its role in pancreatic cancer remains unknown. Pancreatic cancer cells express high levels of the S1P receptor known as S1PR1, which is the receptor most important for mediating growth and migration through S1P signaling. In addition, the subcellular expression of the sphingosine kinases is altered in pancreatic cancer cells, which may contribute to their malignant behavior. Exogenous S1P increases pancreatic cancer cell migration, while inhibition of S1P signaling decreases the metabolic activity of pancreatic cancer cells as well as their ability to invade and migrate. Taken together, these results demonstrate the importance of S1P signaling in maintaining malignant behavior in pancreatic cancer cells. In addition, inhibition of S1P signaling represents a potential therapeutic target in pancreatic ductal cancer.
Degree ProgramGraduate College