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Cell Motility Gene Palladin Linked to Pancreatic Cancer

Mutant form found overexpressed in familial pancreatic cancer

THURSDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- A gene that controls cellular shape and motility, called palladin, is associated with two forms of pancreatic cancer, according to a report published online Dec. 12 in PLoS Medicine.

Teresa A. Brentnall, M.D., of the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues sought to identify cancer-causing genes in a locus previously shown to confer susceptibility to familial pancreatic cancer.

Using microarray analyses and quantitative RT-PCR, the investigators found that palladin is overexpressed in tissues from patients with both sporadic and familial pancreatic cancer. A mutant form of palladin tracked with all affected family members but was absent in unaffected members. Overexpressing palladin in a tumor cell line caused changes in cell shape and actin assembly, allowing these cells to become more motile.

"These observations suggest that the presence of an abnormal palladin gene in familial pancreatic cancer and the overexpression of palladin protein in sporadic pancreatic cancer cause cytoskeletal changes in pancreatic cancer and may be responsible for, or contribute to, the tumor's strong invasive and migratory abilities," the authors conclude.

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