Pancreatic cancer is currently the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Despite the recent advances in pancreatic cancer research, patients with this devastating disease still have a poor prognosis. Therefore, deciphering pancreatic cancer-related gene expression and defining the individual gene's specific functions will make a significant impact on the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer. Recently, our lab has demonstrated the tumorigenic transformation in an immortalized pancreatic cell line, HPNE/hTERT by sequential introduction of multiple genetic alterations. We found that Polo-like kinase 3 (Plk3) is significantly down-regulated in transformed tumor cell lines. Plk3 belongs to the Polo-like kinase family and is a multi-functional kinase. We previously reported that Plk3 played a pro-apoptotic role in pancreatic cancer lines when it was overexpressed. Plk3 down-regulation in transformed HPNE cells suggests that Plk3 may have tumor suppression function during pancreatic tumor development. In addition, we found Plk3 expression is regulated by Pten. In Pten-knockout MEF cells, Plk3 expression was significantly down-regulated. So Plk3 may be downstream of Pten in the tumor suppression pathway. These data suggest that Plk3 play an important role in pancreatic cancer development.

Citation Format: {Authors}. {Abstract title} [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 103rd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2012 Mar 31-Apr 4; Chicago, IL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2012;72(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 2186. doi:1538-7445.AM2012-2186