We previously reported that bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-4 induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition in a pancreatic cancer cell line. To further investigate the detailed molecular mechanism of BMP action in pancreatic cancer, we carried out comprehensive microarray analysis in Panc-1 cells. The microarray analysis elucidated novel BMP target genes, and among them, the calcium-binding protein S100P was identified as an upregulated gene. S100P induction by BMP4 was confirmed by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis in Panc-1 and HPDE cells. Short interfering RNA-based knockdown of S100P expression sufficiently repressed BMP4-induced cell migration in Panc-1 cells. Because Panc-1 and HPDE cells express wild-type Smad4, we hypothesized that Smad4 might be indispensable for S100P induction by BMP4. S100P induction by BMP4 was not observed in the Smad4-null cell line BxPC3, and was sufficiently attenuated in short interfering RNA-based Smad4-knockdown Panc-1 cells. Interestingly, detailed promoter analysis revealed that upregulation of S100P by BMP4 was independent of the Smad-binding element, indicating that an additional unknown downstream factor of the Smad4-dependent pathway is necessary for this induction. These findings are the first of their kind, and this Smad4-dependent regulation of S100P by BMP signaling might explain the migratory mechanism of cancer cells, which is still unknown.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research