Podocalyxin-like 1 (PODXL1) is an anti-adhesive transmembrane protein belonging to the CD34 family and also stem cell marker that has been associated with an aggressive tumor phenotype and poor prognosis in several forms of cancer. In this study, we report the biological role of PODXL1 in progression of pancreatic invasive ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), especially focusing to invasion and metastasis of PDAC cells. Knockout of PODXL1 gene in three different human PDAC lines, MiaPaCa-2, AsPC1 and Panc-1, almost completely abrogated metastatic lesion in liver-metastatic mouse model in vivo. Molecular analysis revealed that PODXL1 functioned as a critical activator to multiple cytokine receptors expressed on cancer cells, and its interaction facilitated PDAC cell invasion. Endogenous expression of PODXL1 was strongly detected on cancer cells at the invasive front of the PDAC tissues, where coincidently expressed specific cytokine receptor that critically mediates cancer metastasis in vivo. Thus, we identify the novel functional aspect of PODXL1 and its biological role on PDAC as one of the most intractable malignancies.

Citation Format: Eisaku Kondo, Ken Saito. PODXL1 as a critical accelerator for pancreatic cancer metastasis [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2018; 2018 Apr 14-18; Chicago, IL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2018;78(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 1113.