Targeting inhibitors of the tumor suppressor PP2A for the treatment of pancreatic cancer

Amy S. Farrell, Brittany Allen-Petersen, Colin J. Daniel, Xiaoyan Wang, Zhiping Wang, Sarah Rodriguez, Soren Impey, Jessica Oddo, Michael P. Vitek, Charles Lopez, Dale J. Christensen, Brett Sheppard, Rosalie C. Sears

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease that is usually diagnosed in the advanced stages when few effective therapies are available. Given the aggressive clinical course of this disease and lack of good treatment options, the development of new therapeutic agents for the treatment of pancreatic cancer is of the upmost importance. Several pathways that have shown to contribute to pancreatic cancer progression are negatively regulated by the tumor suppressor protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). Here, the endogenous inhibitors of PP2A, SET (also known as I2PP2A) and cancerous inhibitor of PP2A (CIP2A), were shown to be overexpressed in human pancreatic cancer, contributing to decreased PP2A activity and overexpression and stabilization of the oncoprotein c-Myc, a key PP2A target. Knockdown of SET or CIP2A increases PP2A activity, increases c-Myc degradation, and decreases the tumorigenic potential of pancreatic cancer cell lines both in vitro and in vivo . Moreover, treatment with a novel SET inhibitor, OP449, pharmacologically recapitulates the phenotypes and significantly reduces proliferation and tumorigenic potential of several pancreatic cancer cell lines, with an accompanying attenuation of cell growth and survival signaling. Furthermore, primary cells from patients with pancreatic cancer were sensitive to OP449 treatment, indicating that PP2A-regulated pathways are highly relevant to this deadly disease. Implications: The PP2A inhibitors SET and CIP2A are overexpressed in human pancreatic cancer and are important for pancreatic cancer cell growth and transformation; thus, antagonizing SET and/or CIP2A may be an innovative approach for the treatment of human pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)924-939
Number of pages16
JournalMolecular Cancer Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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