Loss of runt-related transcription factor 3 induces gemcitabine resistance in pancreatic cancer

Shigeru Horiguchi, Hidenori Shiraha, Teruya Nagahara, Jyunnro Kataoka, Masaya Iwamuro, Minoru Matsubara, Shinichi Nishina, Hironari Kato, Akinobu Takaki, Kazuhiro Nouso, Takehiro Tanaka, Koichi Ichimura, Takahito Yagi, Kazuhide Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Background & Aim: Runt-related transcription factor 3 (RUNX3) is a tumor suppressor gene that is expressed in gastric and other cancers including pancreatic cancer. However, the precise function of RUNX3 in pancreatic cancer has not been fully elucidated. In this study, we aimed to determine the effect of decreased RUNX3 expression in pancreatic cancer. Methods: This study included 36 patients with primary pancreatic cancer, who had undergone pancreaticoduodenectomy. All patients were treated with 1000mg/m2 gemcitabine after the surgery. The pancreatic cancer cell lines PANC-1, MIAPaCa-2, BxPC-3, SUIT-2, and KLM-1 were used for immunoblotting analysis of RUNX3 and multidrug resistance protein (MRP) expressions. Ectopic RUNX3 expression was achieved by cDNA transfection of the cells, and small interfering RNA (siRNA) against RUNX3 was used to knock down endogenous RUNX3. Cell growth in the presence of gemcitabine was assessed using the MTT assay. Results: Patients with RUNX3-positive and RUNX3-negative pancreatic cancer had a median survival of 1006 and 643 days, respectively. Exogenous RUNX3 expression reduced the expression of MRP1, MRP2, and MRP5 in endogenous RUNX3-negative cells, whereas RUNX3 siRNA increased the expressions of these genes in endogenous RUNX3-positive cells. Exogenous RUNX3 expression decreased gemcitabine IC50 in RUNX3-negative cells. Conclusion: Loss of RUNX3 expression contributes to gemcitabine resistance by inducing MRP expression, thereby resulting in poor patient survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)840-849
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Oncology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • Adjuvant chemotherapy
  • Pancreaticoduodenectomy
  • Runt-related transcription factor 3 (RUNX3)
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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