Targeting GIPC/synectin in pancreatic cancer inhibits tumor growth.

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Clin Cancer Res. 2009 Jun 15;15(12):4095-103. Epub 2009 Jun 9.

Targeting GIPC/synectin in pancreatic cancer inhibits tumor growth.


Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.

PURPOSE: Various studies have shown the importance of the GAIP interacting protein, COOH-terminus (GIPC, also known as Synectin) as a central adaptor molecule in different signaling pathways and as an important mediator of receptor stability. GIPC/Synectin is associated with different growth-promoting receptors such as insulin-like growth factor receptor I (IGF-IR) and integrins. These interactions were mediated through its PDZ domain. GIPC/Synectin has been shown to be overexpressed in pancreatic and breast cancer. The goal of this study was to show the importance of GIPC/Synectin in pancreatic cancer growth and to evaluate a possible therapeutic strategy by using a GIPC-PDZ domain inhibitor. Furthermore, the effect of targeting GIPC on the IGF-I receptor as one of its associated receptors was tested.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: The in vivo effects of GIPC/Synectin knockdown were studied after lentiviral transduction of luciferase-expressing pancreatic cancer cells with short hairpin RNA against GIPC/Synectin. Additionally, a GIPC-PDZ--targeting peptide was designed. This peptide was tested for its influence on pancreatic cancer growth in vitro and in vivo.

RESULTS: Knockdown of GIPC/Synectin led to a significant inhibition of pancreatic adenocarcinoma growth in an orthotopic mouse model. Additionally, a cell-permeable GIPC-PDZ inhibitor was able to block tumor growth significantly without showing toxicity in a mouse model. Targeting GIPC was accompanied by a significant reduction in IGF-IR expression in pancreatic cancer cells.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings show that targeting GIPC/Synectin and its PDZ domain inhibits pancreatic carcinoma growth and is a potential strategy for therapeutic intervention of pancreatic cancer.