GNAS, a gene encoding G protein stimulating a subunit, is frequently mutated in intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs), which are indolent and slow-growing pancreatic tumors that secrete abundant mucin. The GNAS mutation is not observed in conventional ductal adenocarcinomas of the pancreas. To determine the functional significance of the GNAS mutation in pancreatic ductal lineage cells, we examined in vitro phenotypes of cells of pancreatic ductal lineage, HPDE, PK-8, PCI-35, and MIA PaCa-2, with exogenous expression of either wild-type or mutated (R201H) GNAS. We found that exogenous GNAS upregulated intracellular cyclic adenine monophosphate (cAMP), particularly in mutated GNAS transfectants, and upregulated expression of MUC2 and MUC5AC in HPDE and PK-8 cells. By contrast, exogenous GNAS inhibited expression of mucin genes in PCI-35 and MIA PaCa-2 cells, despite upregulation of cAMP. We examined global gene expression profiles of some of the cells transfected with exogenous mutated GNAS (PK-8, PCI-35, and MIA PaCa-2), and found that PK-8 cells exhibited drastic alterations of the gene expression profile, which contrasted with modest alterations in PCI-35 and MIA PaCa-2 cells. To identify a cause of these different effects of exogenous mutated GNAS on phenotypes of the cells, we examined effects of interactions of the signaling pathways of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) on expression of mucin genes. The MAPK and PI3K pathways significantly influenced the expression of mucin genes. Exogenous GNAS did not promote cell growth but suppressed it in some of the cells. In conclusion, mutated GNAS found in IPMNs may extensively alter gene expression profiles, including expression of mucin genes, through the interaction with MAPK and PI3K pathways in pancreatic ductal cells; these changes may determine the characteristic phenotype of IPMN. PK-8 cells expressing exogenous mutated GNAS may be an ideal in vitro model of IPMN.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)