Collagen regulation of let-7 in pancreatic cancer involves TGF-β1-mediated membrane type 1-matrix metalloproteinase expression

S. Dangi-Garimella*, M. J. Strouch, P. J. Grippo, D. J. Bentrem, H. G. Munshi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is associated with a pronounced collagen-rich fibrosis known as desmoplastic reaction; however, the role of fibrosis in PDAC is poorly understood. In this report we show that collagen can regulate the tumor suppressive let-7 family of microRNAs in pancreatic cancer cells. PDAC cells growing in 3D collagen gels repress mature let-7 without affecting the precursor form of let-7 in part through increased expression of membrane type 1-matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP, MMP-14) and ERK1/2 activation. PDAC cells in collagen also demonstrate increased TGF-β1 signaling, and blocking TGF-β1 signaling attenuated collagen-induced MT1-MMP expression, ERK1/2 activation and repression of let-7 levels. Although MT1-MMP overexpression was not sufficient to inhibit let-7 on 2D tissue culture plastic, overexpression of MT1-MMP in PDAC cells embedded in 3D collagen gels or grown in vivo repressed let-7 levels. Importantly, MT1-MMP expression significantly correlated with decreased levels of let-7 in human PDAC tumor specimens. Overall, our study emphasizes the interplay between the key proteinase MT1-MMP and its substrate type I collagen in modulating microRNA expression, and identifies an additional mechanism by which fibrosis may contribute to PDAC progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1002-1008
Number of pages7
JournalOncogene
Volume30
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 24 2011

Keywords

  • ERK1/2
  • MT1-MMP
  • TGF-β1
  • collagen
  • fibrosis
  • let-7

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research

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