Knockdown or inhibition of aldo-keto reductase 1B10 inhibits pancreatic carcinoma growth via modulating Kras-E-cadherin pathway

Wanying Zhang, Haonan Li, Yihe Yang, Jie Liao, Guang Yu Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Aldo-keto reductase 1B10 (AKR1B10) has relatively specific lipid substrates including carbonyls, retinal and farnesal/geranylgeranial. Metabolizing these lipid substrates appears crucial to carcinogenesis, particularly for farnesal/geranylgeranial that involves protein prenylation. Mutant Kras is a most common active oncogene in pancreatic cancer, and its activation requires protein prenylation. To directly determine the role of AKR1B10 in pancreatic carcinogenesis, we knocked down AKR1B10 in CD18 human pancreatic carcinoma cells using shRNA approach. Silencing AKR1B10 resulted in a significant inhibition of anchor-dependent growth (knockdown cells vs. vector-control cells: 67 ± 9.5 colonies/HPF vs. 170 ± 3.7 colonies/HPF, p < 0.01), invasion index (0.27 vs. 1.00, p < 0.05), and cell migration (at 16 hours 9.2 ± 1.2% vs. 14.0 ± 1.8%, at 24 hours 21.0 ± 1.1% vs. 30.5 ± 3.5%, and at 48 hours 51.9 ± 5.7% vs. 88.9 ± 3.0%, p < 0.01). Inhibition of AKR1B10 by oleanolic acid (OA) showed a dose-dependent inhibition of cell growth with IC50 at 30 μM. Kras pull-down and Western blot analysis revealed a significant down-regulation of active form Kras and phosphorylated C-Raf, and Erk, as well as an up-regulation of E-cadherin. A significant reduction of in vivo tumor growth was observed in nude mice implanted with the CD18 pancreatic carcinoma cells with AKR1B10 knockdown (tumor weight: 0.25 ± 0.06 g vs. 0.52 ± 0.07 g, p = 0.01), and with OA treatment (tumor weight: 0.35 ± 0.05 g vs. 0.52 ± 0.07 g, p = 0.05). Our findings indicate AKR1B10 is a unique enzyme involved in pancreatic carcinogenesis via modulation of the Kras-E-cadherin pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-280
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 28 2014


  • AKR1B10
  • E-cadherin
  • Invasion
  • KRAS
  • Migration
  • Pancreatic adenocarcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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