Synuclein-γ is closely involved in perineural invasion and distant metastasis in mouse models and is a novel prognostic factor in pancreatic cancer

Taizo Hibi, Taisuke Mori, Mariko Fukuma, Ken Yamazaki, Akinori Hashiguchi, Taketo Yamada, Minoru Tanabe, Koichi Aiura, Takao Kawakami, Atsushi Ogiwara, Tomoo Kosuge, Masaki Kitajima, Yuko Kitagawa, Michiie Sakamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Perineural invasion is associated with the high incidence of local recurrence and a dismal prognosis in pancreatic cancer. We previously reported a novel perineural invasion model and distinguished high - and low-perineural invasion groups in pancreatic cancer cell lines. This study aimed to elucidate the molecular mechanism of perineural invasion.Experimental Design: To identify key biological markers involved in perineural invasion, differentially expressed molecules were investigated by proteomics and transcriptomics. Synuclein-γ emerged as the only up-regulated molecule in high - perineural invasion group by both analyses. The clinical significance and the biological property of synuclein-γ were examined in 62 resected cases of pancreatic cancer and mouse models. Results: Synuclein-γ overexpression was observed in 38 (61%) cases and correlated with major invasive parameters, including perineural invasion and lymph node metastasis (P < 0.05). Multivariate analyses revealed synuclein-γ overexpression as the only independent predictor of diminished overall survival [hazard ratio, 3.4 (95% confidence interval, 1.51-7.51)] and the strongest negative indicator of disease-free survival [2.8 (1.26-6.02)]. In mouse perineural invasion and orthotopic transplantation models, stable synuclein-γ suppression by short hairpin RNA significantly reduced the incidence of perineural invasion (P = 0.009) and liver/lymph node metastasis (P = 0.019 and P = 0.020, respectively) compared with the control. Conclusions: This is the first study to provide in vivo evidence that synuclein-γ is closely involved in perineural invasion/distant metastasis and is a significant prognostic factor in pancreatic cancer. Synuclein-γ may serve as a promising molecular target of early diagnosis and anticancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2864-2871
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Apr 15

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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