Promoter-Level Transcriptome Identifies Stemness Associated With Relatively High Proliferation in Pancreatic Cancer Cells

Ru Chen, Aiko Sugiyama, Naoyuki Kataoka, Masahiro Sugimoto, Shoko Yokoyama, Akihisa Fukuda, Shigeo Takaishi, Hiroshi Seno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Both pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN), a frequent precursor of pancreatic cancer, and intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN), a less common precursor, undergo several phases of molecular conversions and finally develop into highly malignant solid tumors with negative effects on the quality of life. We approached this long-standing issue by examining the following PanIN/IPMN cell lines derived from mouse models of pancreatic cancer: Ptf1a-Cre; KrasG12D; p53f/+ and Ptf1a-Cre; KrasG12D; and Brg1f/f pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAs). The mRNA from these cells was subjected to a cap analysis of gene expression (CAGE) to map the transcription starting sites and quantify the expression of promoters across the genome. Two RNA samples extracted from three individual subcutaneous tumors generated by the transplantation of PanIN or IPMN cancer cell lines were used to generate libraries and Illumina Seq, with four RNA samples in total, to depict discrete transcriptional network between IPMN and PanIN. Moreover, in IPMN cells, the transcriptome tended to be enriched for suppressive and inhibitory biological processes. In contrast, the transcriptome of PanIN cells exhibited properties of stemness. Notably, the proliferation capacity of the latter cells in culture was only minimally constrained by well-known chemotherapy drugs such as GSK690693 and gemcitabine. The various transcriptional factor network systems detected in PanIN and IPMN cells reflect the distinct molecular profiles of these cell types. Further, we hope that these findings will enhance our mechanistic understanding of the characteristic molecular alterations underlying pancreatic cancer precursors. These data may provide a promising direction for therapeutic research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number316
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 20
Externally publishedYes


  • cap analysis of gene expression
  • intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm
  • molecular profiling
  • pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia
  • transcriptome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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